Friday, April 29, 2016

By the Time We Get to November, Donald Trump is Going to Offend Every Woman in the Country

I'm not just talking about Democratic women. I mean literally every singe one. Ok, not Susan Sarandon maybe. She's cool with building a wall next to the alleged evil that is Hillary.

I'm sure Sarandon would be cool with Hitler-he too was against trade deals.

But Trump is going to lose just about every other woman. He thinks attacking Hillary as just here because she's a woman is going to appeal to white women? Go right ahead, Donald. Two thirds of white women already don''t like you.

Even Republican women are running from you. Jennifer Rubin sounds like she will vote for Hillary before you. Laura Bush sounds like she's for Hillary Clinton.

Even Chris Christie's wife, Mary Pat, seemed disgusted by Trump's vile sexist slurs against Hillary. The idea that she's unqualified is just absurd. As it was pointed out on Twitter, surely a man who was one of the most admired people in the world for 20 straight years who had been Secretary of State and a NY Senator would have no shot at being President.

Understand, there are fewer things that just about all thinking women of today hate more than the idea that they are not qualified to have the power men do.

Rush Limbaugh thinks Americans will be 'orgasmic' at these sexist attacks on Hillary.

Rush Limbaugh: Trump Will ‘Unload’ on Hillary, Make Americans ‘Orgasmic’
The conservative radio host thinks that Trump will inspire Americans to shriek with delight once they see him take on Clinton.

This tells us very little about how most Americans will react. Close to 70 percent of Americans are absolutely disgusted by Trump. Rush and a few other Neanderthal knuckle draggers will have orgasms-showing just how perverse they are. Most Americans will want to vomit.

If Hillary Clinton is playing the 'woman card' Trump is playing right into her hands. If this were true, you'd be smart to stay away from gender. See how Chris Van Hollen defeated Donna Edwards in Maryland. Certainly not by saying being a woman makes her unqualified.

Don't get me wrong: I've wanted this matchup all along. Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton will be epic. I'm very pleased that the Rush Limbaughs of the world actually think Trump will make a strong general election candidate.

The idea that Trump will win the GOP new voters is hilarious. In fact polls seem to show he may even lose the white male vote.

As for Hillary, she is going to get so much pure mud thrown at her. But she's up to the job. As some of her advisers have pointed out, there is nothing she relishes more than standing up to a bully. Trump has no idea what he's up against.

Those who falsely claim 2016 is a post gender election are about to see how wrong they are once we really get into general election mode. 

A Berner Writer at Salon Endorses Donald Trump

This didn't take long. I'm not sure there is anyone that the Berners think is more evil than Hillary Clinton-probably not even Hitler. After all, Hitler was a populist against bad trade deals too and he even embraced the socialist label.

We have Jane Sanders and HA Goodman pleading with the FBI to convict Hillary for using a private email-same as Colin Powell did.

Jane Sanders did this on Fox News. Sure, she has the party's best interests at heart. Meanwhile Goodman, fittingly, had this post in Salon.

So he's actually asking the FBI to conduct an investigation in a way that Goodman and Jane Sanders finds politcally advantageous. Indict her for political reasons. That sounds on the up and up. Let alone the fact that she isn't being investigated.

It's fitting that it's again Salon that is publishing such Hillary hating garbage.

"There are perhaps no three words more jarring to liberals than “President Donald Trump.” The GOP front-runner and presumptive nominee has undoubtedly made enemies with his nativist rhetoric and bellicose persona. That said, now that the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, with the former secretary of state essentially guaranteed the nomination, many liberals and progressives are preparing, once again, to vote for the lesser of two evils. The choice may not be as clear as some Democrats believe — especially if Democrats can take back the Senate and assure themselves of a check on a GOP House."

Sure. It's better for Democrats to be a check on the GOP House than to have a Democratic President. And using Bernie logic, if Trump were to win, it might just be a 'political revolution'-if Trump who the betting odds gives a 15 percent shot at winning actually won. You might expect him to have some coattails making the chance at a Democratic Senate much less likely.

"Once you’ve let that sink in, try this: There is a liberal case to be made for Donald Trump. The prospect of Trump defeating Clinton this November is not necessarily the apocalypse that some would lead you to believe. Here are some of the reasons why."

Well it will be an apocalypse for some. Certainly if you're a woman who relies on the healthcare services of Planned Parenthood or an African American who faces voter suppression. Currently, a Dem win would enable us to finally tip the balance of the Court back.

This is something we've been waiting for 30 years for. If we did, then a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court could reverse the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. But hey, missing that is not an apocalypse. If you're not a black person living in a Red State.

If you're a Latino, it might be an apocalypse for you. But the writer, Walker Bragman isn't worried about this. Trump won't get to do all that much as Congress will check him, he reasons.

Right. I'm sure Hispanic Americans the nation over take comfort in that. Even if they won't-and how do you know that some GOPers won't, under pressure from their voters, take some draconian steps in cracking down on Latinos, even if short of building a wall and deporting 11 million people?

Has Bragman never hear of the Upton Window? If Trump won, we wouldn't see everything he calls for but a number of 'compromises' we previously considered unacceptable might become acceptable.

Remember that after the terrorist attack in Paris late last year, the House initially passed a law that cracked down on Syrian refugees-with some Dem support as well, unfortunately.

With a President Trump with a GOP Congress, they might well give him just 15 percent of what he wants in terms of Hispanics and a Muslim ban. That would still be for many an 'apocalypse.'

It boggles the mind. The Berners think Hillary Clinton is Cruellla Daville for advocating a $12 federal minimum wage which is currently $7.25. Because Saint Bernie wants to do a $15 MW. She does support states that do $15 but it's a litmus test for the Berners.

Meanwhile, they will embrace a man who says that American wages need to come down. They figure Trump was just joshing about that.

Bragman is impressed by the fact that Trump 'Changes the conversation and speaks his mind.' So did Hitler.

Just because you change the conversation doesn't mean it's in a good way. He's changed it alright-now a Muslim ban, deporting 11 million immigrants, and declaring that Hillary would be at 5 percent if she were a man.

I'm sure Bragman, HA Goodman, and Seth Abramson all actually like that line by Trump. They themselves believe this is the only reason Hillary is supported too.

Like Al Sharpton said on Wednesday, women sure are privileged. They make a whole $.75 for every $1 a man makes.

He is also changing the conversation by suggesting he might use nuclear weapons-but doesn't want to say either way. If he used nuclear weapons, at least it wouldn't be apocalyptic. Oh wait.

Bragman's problem is he has this conceit that Trump won't be so bad. Just wait until 2020 and then he can have Elizabeth Warren or whoever the current liberal saint is then. What damage can be done in 4 years? Considering that a number of SJC vacancies could be coming, a lot.

Bragman again sounds like Trump:

"Clinton is also one of the weakest candidates ever to secure the nomination for president from either party. As Gallup pointed out, the word most associated with her name is “dishonest.” Her favorability ratings are abysmal, she’s prone to secrecy which opens her up to perceptions of scandal, and she has an FBI investigation hanging over her head. Unlike her rival, Bernie Sanders, but like Donald Trump, she underperforms among Independents — a necessary voting block for any president."

One of the weakest ever. Sure. Is she weaker than McGovern who lost 49 states, or Alf Landon who lost 523-8 in the electoral college, or Goldwater-who like Trump-opened the door to using nuclear weapons?

I think that Bragman is like Trump. They both think Hillary is one of the weakest candidates ever because she's a woman.

Wow. I knew this was coming but this soon?

In New Indiana Poll Hillary Leads Bernie 54-41

Benchmark Politics comments that this may be a sign of consolidation-if the sense the Dem race is over takes hold.

It sounds like this may be happening:

"Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton leads rival Bernie Sanders by 13 percentage points in Indiana, according to statewide polling conducted for IPFW."

"Clinton was favored by 54 percent of respondents and Sanders by 41 percent, with 5 percent undecided ahead of Indiana’s primary election on Tuesday."

"The survey, commissioned by IPFW’s Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, found that while 93 percent of Clinton’s supporters said their preference for the former secretary of state is strong, only 75 percent of Sanders’ backers said the same thing about the Vermont senator."

"The relative lack of strong support for Sanders, who typically draws large crowds to his campaign rallies, is “a little bit surprising” and “opposite of what conventional wisdom would be,” IPFW political scientist Michael Wolf said Wednesday."

"Wolf said the most frequent answer to the question of why a respondent favors Sanders was “not sure,” and the next most common response was a negative opinion of Clinton. Clinton’s supporters most often cited her experience and qualifications."

Not sure why they support The Bern. I'm not sure either!

Benchmark Politics is predicting a range.

"As an aside, the Indiana race is completely in the margin of error. It's a tie right now. Could be 53-47 Clinton or 53-47 Sanders."

"More accurately 54-46 Clinton or 52-48 Sanders."

Alan Abramowitz's model has been pretty accurate-he looks at three indicators: how far South or North the state is, percentage of black voters and percentage of independent voters. The model did very well on Tuesday.

Here are the predictions for the rest of the month.

It's surprising he sees her as only getting 47 percent in Indiana with 17 percent of the population being black. But the key is Democratic voters. Because he foresees a lot of independent voters he sees a Bernie win.

In West Virginia it's quite surprising he sees a tie-as this is a state you would assume would be Bernie's. It must be because of having a much higher percentage of Democratic voters.

I'm a little surprised he sees Oregon this close.

"While the model predicts that Bernie Sanders has a chance to win three of the next four Democratic primaries and is clearly favored in two, the relatively small numbers of delegates at stake in these three states and the expected closeness of the predicted margins indicate that he is unlikely to gain much ground in the overall delegate race. As a result, Hillary Clinton’s substantial lead over Bernie Sanders in pledged delegates is unlikely to change very much in the next month."

No Bernie, We Don't Need More Open Primaries but Could Use Fewer Caucuses

He has a list of demands for the Democrats in exchange for supporting the clear nominee-Hillary Clinton.

Ok, I should give Bernie a little credit. He's trying. In all fairness, it takes a little while to do a 180.

He is cutting staff. He is cutting back on spending.

We will get to unity in stages. He's making his first offer.

"Bernie Sanders shared the specific list of changes he'd like the Democratic Party to make during a speech on Thursday."

"In an otherwise carbon copy of his stump speech in Springfield, Oregon, Sanders declared that he wants to see the Democratic Party pursue a 50-state strategy, open primaries in every state, and automatic voter registration for everyone starting at age 18."

Read more:

Automatic voter registration is an idea Hillary Clinton has been pushing for awhile.

So this particular demand is really pushing through an open door. Now on open primaries, I disagree and suspect many in the Democratic party will. We want Democrats to decide the Democratic nominee.

Anyone can vote in a Democratic primary-if they're a Democrat. His reason for wanting open primaries is pretty self-serving-he does better with independents than with Democrats. So why would we possibly want to create a scenario where the desires of independents prevailed over the wishes of Democrats?

To be sure, the debate over these issues is not about pure principle-as Bernie suggests, but opportunistic. A lot of times states change laws for some short term goal or other.

There was a time when having more independents vote made the electorate less liberal rather than more.

In any case, the Dems shouldn't rush into any commitment to increase the number of open primaries. If anything, they should consider the opposite.

And, of course, Bernie had nothing to say about the most undemocratic practice of all: caucuses. They simply destroy turnout. Look, it's an institution in Iowa, so they will keep their's. But most other states should look into fazing them out.

Democratic Socialism Lucrative for 'the Consultant Class'

I continue to marvel how strange a year 2016 has been in all respects.

Among the many strange but true things we've seen is that Bernie has run against money in politics while spending a lot more than anyone else-and losing badly.

Jeb Bush also spent who money in a 'shock and awe' campaign that produced extremely meager results.

Billionaire Donald Trump has spent the least amount of money on his very successful campaign and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has spent the most in a losing campaign.

All of this perhaps should be good news for Bernie: perhaps money isn't everything in politics after all:

"The small-dollar fundraising juggernaut that has kept Bernie Sanders’s insurgent White House bid afloat far longer than anticipated has generated another unexpected impact: a financial windfall for his team of Washington consultants."

"By the end of March, the self-described democratic socialist senator from Vermont had spent nearly $166 million on his campaign — more than any other 2016 presidential contender, including rival Hillary Clinton. More than $91 million went to a small group of admakers and media buyers who produced a swarm of commercials and placed them on television, radio and online, according to a Washington Post analysis of Federal Election Commission reports."

"While the vast majority of that money was passed along to television stations and websites to pay for the advertising, millions in fees were kept by the companies, The Post calculated. While it is impossible to determine precisely how much the top consultants have earned, FEC filings indicate the top three media firms have reaped payments of seven figures."

"Sanders’s money blitz, fueled by a $27 average donation that he repeatedly touts, has improbably made the anti-billionaire populist the biggest spender so far in the election cycle. The campaign’s wealth has been a surprising boon for vendors across the county who signed on to his long-shot bid."

"The large profits stem in part from the fact that no one in Sanders’s campaign imagined he would generate such enormous financial support. So unlike Clinton, he did not cap how much his consultants could earn in commissions from what was expected to be a bare-bones operation, according to campaign officials."

"That has meant big payouts for the firm of senior strategist Tad Devine, which has produced the bulk of the campaign’s ads; Old Towne Media, a small media placement operation run by two of Devine’s longtime buyers; and Revolution Messaging, a digital firm led by veterans of President Obama’s 2008 campaign."

Big money for Tad Devine. Some irony here.

I seriously do wonder what the takeaways in the long term from 2016 will be. Will others try to replicate what Trump did. He didn't need to spend much because of how much media exposure he got.

This may well not be entirely replicable-Trump's celebrity made this possible. Perhaps other celebrities can try.

In some ways the Bernie model is not really new. I've pointed out in previous posts that most Democratic primaries have followed a similar narrative. There is almost always an Establishment candidate and an outsider, small donations candidate-Jerry Brown was the small donations guy in 1992.

His pitch here was very similar to Bernie's, just that Bernie updated his innovation. Brown's big new thing was a toll free number you could call and make small donations. In some ways his setup was more populist than Bernie's even, as he refused to take donations of more than $100 dollars.

If you haven't watched the epic Clinton-Brown debates from 1992, you have to.

Then we had Howard Dean's small donations in 2004 and then candidate Obama's small donations in 2008.

Obama did, however, take larger donations in the general and has since come a long way in terms of accepting the need for heavy fundraising at least for now.

I wonder what we actually come out learning about money in politics from this year. One thing is that Bernie's purism on the subject is not really realistic-as proven by his own campaign. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Is Bernie Sanders Feeling the Math?

There are some signs he is. Yesterday he explicitly assured an audience he knows math and knows he's losing-though he still tried to hold out hope that 'something' could change. A Black Swan event?

"With nearly everyone involved now acknowledging that Hillary Clinton is the de facto democratic party nominee, and even with polls suggesting that most supporters of Bernie Sanders are prepared to get behind her, the Democratic Party unity effort appears to have strong long-term prospects. But in the short term, that effort faces an odd hurdle: the Sanders campaign appears to be in chaos today, with conflicting messages and no clear sign of who’s calling the shots. The best thing that Hillary’s supporters can do right now in the name of party unity might be to keep a respectful distance until the dust settles."

There are definitely some mixed messages. But it seems that he is trying to wind down. Sometimes it takes a little while. Certainly I always keep my distance from Berners on general principle.

But it does seem he is feeling the math. He started cutting his budget and staff yesterday.

"SANDERS SEES WRITING ON THE WALL: In an interview with the New York Times, Bernie Sanders seems to dramatically scale back expectations:

"Mr. Sanders said he would now refocus his efforts chiefly on the June 7 primary in California….By winning there, he said, he hoped to strengthen his hand ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where he would push his core priorities into the party platform. “If we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people,” Mr. Sanders said, “and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should.”

"This is consistent with an endgame in which Sanders enters into unity talks with Clinton after the voting ends and ends up reaching some kind of accommodation before the convention.

In an interview with me, Rep. Keith Ellison, a top supporter of Bernie Sanders who is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, suggested the Clinton camp had some work to do in order to appeal to Sanders’s supporters. But he also carefully noted that Sanders would not do anything to imperil the party unity that will be required to defeat Donald Trump.

“Young people have a set of priorities that make them want to support Bernie Sanders,” Ellison said. “If hypothetically she wins the nomination, in order to get people to support Bernie, she’s going to have to carry the banner that Bernie carried in an overt way. She’s going to have to make it clear to people who support Bernie that she gets where he’s coming from.”

But Ellison added: “Every Bernie supporter knows that this Supreme Court issue is looming. We’ll have party unity….everybody has a responsibility to make sure there will never be a President Trump. Bernie has been around a long time….he’s not going to hand this country over to Donald Trump.”

"Meanwhile, Politico reports that Sanders is increasingly focused on seeking influence over the party agenda as a way to wind things down. He’s hoping for signs of genuine commitment to priorities like debt free college and a $15 minimum wage, and to reforms to the nomination process that might maximize participation among the sort of young, unaffiliated Sanders voters who were excluded from the New York primary."

I do believe she's already come out for debt free college. Bernie's plan is for tuition free college. In truth though, it isn't quite tuition free college. On $15, there is not nearly as much daylight as he's wanted to suggest. He's for $15, she's for $12, but she is all for the push to $15 at the state level and would sign a bill for $15 if the Democrats in Congress put it on her desk.

There are not as many differences as some make it seem. In any case, it is no secret Hillary is the presumptive nominee. Bernie is basically acknowledging that. He hopes to win California to give himself a little bit of narrative.

But we're getting there folks. It won't be long until Hillary is the first female nominee of a major American political party.

Feel the Hil.

Here is an interesting piece in the Daily Beast that looks at women and marriage, focusing on Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

Lucifer in the Flesh Throws a Hail Mary

Yesterday after Trump's foreign policy speech, he got a rare thing: praise from some in the GOP Establishment. Bob Corker said he liked what he heard. Maybe he did, or maybe he knows when to say when. Clearly the GOP voters are making their feelings known.

Trump got another backhanded endorsement from John Boehner. Mr. Republican Establishment.

Boehner: Cruz is 'Lucifer in the flesh'

The former House speaker also says that he would vote for Trump, and called the two of them 'texting buddies.'

"When it comes to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, even a few months’ time out of Congress has done little to lessen former Speaker John Boehner’s contempt for his former Capitol Hill colleague."

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told an audience at Stanford on Wednesday night, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Read more:

Remember, Ted Cruz is the man who singlehandedly forced the GOP into that government shutdown in 2013.

Trump was out praising Mitch McConell, of all people, yesterday. He talked about when Ted Cruz called him a liar.

People don't like Ted Cruz. Except for...

Carly Fiorina? She seems to like Ted Cruz which is sort of ironic-she's not too likable herself.

What is going on? Pretty obvious. Ted Cruz, as Trump likes to remind us, mathematically eliminated. Cruz is desperate for a Game Changer. At the start of the week, he announced that he and Kasich were forming an alliance where they would coordinate where each campaigns.

This mostly just served to make them both look desperate and hopeless, while giving Trump a new word to accuse them and the GOP Establishment of: collusion.

So Cruz is on to a new Game Changer now. It sort of reminds you of McCain choosing Palin in 2008.

Cruz brings in Carly Fiorina. Supposedly the benefit of Fiorina is she can get away with the kind of sexist attacks of Hillary Clinton the other GOPers would like to launch but they can't so easily being males.
Anyway, Fiorina talked about how much fun Ted Cruz is. For Cruz to be described as fun is certainly a first.

Then she throws Cruz's alliance partner under the bus, John Kasich, by declaring that he has no path to victory and should get out of the race.

As Conan O'Brien said last night, 'Carly Fiorina is now a heartbeat from never being President. Ever.'

In the Year of the Outsiders, Hillary Survives and Thrives

Remember she has received more votes than any other candidate, a lot more than Trump, she has an even bigger margin over votes for the Bern.

Herein lies the difference between the parties:

"In an election defined by anti-establishment energy and anger, the two parties are now diverging as Republicans fully embrace an outsider as their presidential nominee and Democrats line up behind a quintessential insider."

"Republicans seem certain to nominate a bomb-throwing insurgent in celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump or, should he fall short, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, while Democrats are consolidating around a guardian of the status quo, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who all but locked up the nomination with decisive victories in Tuesday’s primaries."

"The successes of Trump and Clinton underscore important nuances in the sentiments coursing through the two parties. While voters in both share a frustration with the state of the nation’s economy and politics, Republicans blame their own leaders as much as anybody else and are, therefore, more eager for a radical fix, whereas Democrats still believe their elected leaders can bring change from within."

“It’s fundamentally different,” said David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist and architect of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. The GOP “is in full-out revolt — not just a revolt against government, but a revolt against their own party. . . . But Democratic voters appear to be choosing candidates who look like people who can work for institutional change within the institution rather than fighting for it from the fringe of the institutions.”

"This dynamic played out Tuesday beyond the presidential level as well. In a pair of hotly contested Democratic Senate primaries, establishment favorites — Chris Van Hollen in Maryland and Kathleen McGinty in Pennsylvania — defeated more liberal, insurgent challengers."

Robert Shrum hits it on the nose:

“I think Democrats really want to win, and they’re not willing to sacrifice winning to ideology and grievance, which I think in the Republican Party is the case,” said Robert Shrum, a strategist who is a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns.

How do you actually achieve institutional change without winning? There are some who seem to think that Dems should follow the Berners. Matt Yglesias has made this argument that the Dems should listen to the Berners and become a more left wing ideological party like the GOP is a right wing ideological one.

Why would we want the Dems to become a Tea Party of the Left? Have you taken a good look at the Republican party lately? It's a disaster.

I will take the other side of this bet. I think the Dems are better off for not being a rabidly ideological party, for being Center Left rather than Utlra Left. Where we don't engage in circular firing squads over small, imperceptible differences.

 Jamelle Bouie in a post yesterday argued as Yglesias that-for better or worse-the Dems will be this more purist leftist party in the future.
He argues that in 10 years we will start to see changes. After all, he reasons as Yglesias also has, the future belongs to the youth.  
1. It will but not necessarily in 10 years. It may well not be until considerably longer until we really see the effects of the millennials on our electoral politics. 
The millennials generally are seen as those born between 1981 and 1986. Right now then, the Millennials are 18 to 33 years old. However, the median voter age is 44 years old.

A good age, I am currently 44! Though on May 23 I will no longer be exactly median age...

So in 10 years the oldest millennials will start to approach the median voting age. Still, their impact will only begin to shine through as 60 percent of voters currently are 45 and over.

So their preferences will only start to show. We might say that over the next 10 to 25 years we will get an idea of what impact they might have-in 25 years the youngest millennials will be 44. 
2. Beyond that we can't presume that  millennials will always have the same homogenous political and ideological preferences they have today. A lot can change in the next 20 years. 
If we are able to do something about stagnant wages and incomes, you may well see this generation moderate or splinter in its preferences. We've seen it before. The same Baby Boomer generation which voted for Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern would markedly change and become more moderate-indeed, some became conservatives. 
3. The millennials who voted for Bernie are predominantly white millennials. This doesn't mean they are all white, just mostly. I'v'e seen some Berners on Twitter trumpeting that among 18-24 year old black millennials, Bernie leads by about 3 points. 
That actually underscores again how poorly Bernie did with black voters in general. Sure that is a lot better than he did with older AA voters. But the right comparison is with how he did with white millennials. With them he was winning 7 out of 8 voters where as with their AA counterparts he was breaking even. 
And 18-24 is the very youngest millennials. I've spoken to a number of AA Dems on Twitter in their 30s that are decidedly not feeling The Bern. Many of them are very strong Hillary supporters
Which is not to say that the Democratic party should feel too confident about young black voters in the future. At this point, it seems that many of the young Black Lives Matter activists are skeptical of voting as such. They don't share the sentiment of the older civil rights generation for whom the act of voting is sacred. 
Among the very young there is the belief that voting does no good and may even do harm-by 'encouraging' a system that harms them. 
This is a development that many AAs of older generations is dismayed by. 
In this vein, Deray McKesson's run for Baltimore Mayor was a positive development. He clearly wants to encourage his fellow young people to not feel they must only criticize the system from without. He wants them to believe they can actually go inside and make the changes they want to see made. 
Again, though, just like I pointed out in point 2 for white millennials, the same applies to black millennials. Their preferences and attitudes may well change a lot over the next 20 years. 
One thing that might make them less disaffected: to continue the push for criminal justice reform that has started. To end mass incarceration. To bring hope to these communities. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Feel the Math: Hillary Will Officially Clinch Nomination Soon

Not to brag or anything but remember when I predicted she would have about 2160 delegates coming out of last night?


"HILLARY CAMP SEES POSSIBLE VICTORY IN MAY: Here’s the Hillary campaign’s reading on yesterday’s results and what they mean for the delegate math:

"Clinton advisers predicted late Tuesday night that she was poised to net roughly 50 more pledged delegates than Mr. Sanders, out of 462 up for grabs, adding to her lead of about 240 going into the primaries. Clinton advisers said Tuesday’s final delegate tally would reveal not if, but when, Mrs. Clinton would win the nomination: either in early June, if she continues at her current pace, or as soon as the Kentucky and Oregon primaries on May 17."

"That’s if the super-delegates are included. The current count is that Clinton has 2,159, versus 1,370 for Sanders, out of 2,383 needed to win the nomination."

The truth is she's very close to 2383 now, when you factor in outstanding super delegates. There are 193 which have not declared yet. She will get roughly 180 of them. So in truth, she is at about 2339 now.

The question is how quickly do these undeclareds start trickling in? Her big wins last week in NY and last night in Pennsylvania and Maryland should enable a lot more to feel free to declare. Bernie himself may finally see the writing on the wall.

"DID BERNIE JUST CONCEDE DEFEAT? Via Philip Bump, the Sanders campaign released this statement last night:

"The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform."

"That sounds like Sanders is admitting that his aim at this point is to influence the party platform. It’s consistent with the scenario in which he concedes after the voting but before the convention."

You Best Believe the GOP is on the Eve of Destruction

Last night was a very strong night for the Democratic party.

It was equally horrible for the Republican party. Trump didn't just win, he crushed it in all five states last night. His margins were so large that even if Kasich-Cruz had started their alliance earlier it would have made no difference.

Scott Sumner was saying how this is the worst humiliation he's ever seen a party go through-worse than the Dems in 1968. And remember, 1968 was the start of a period where the Dems only won the Presidency 4 out of 24 years.

"Where this goes is plain to see. Whether or not Trump clinches the nomination before Cleveland, he will have a commanding delegate lead over Cruz, for whom a first-ballot majority — or even anything close to that — is mathematically impossible. And any sane Republican insider will perceive reality soon enough — that Cruz’s strategy for winning the nomination on the convention floor is electoral suicide."

"Like his pact with Kasich, the plan is blatantly Machiavellian and self-serving, the very essence of Ted Cruz: making up the yawning delegate gap by recruiting double agents — delegates who will abandon Trump for Cruz on the second ballot, nullifying the result of state primaries. For the party to somehow maneuver a Cruz nomination — let alone by transparent trickery — would be a poison pill, outraging Trump’s supporters and repelling voters at large. As Peter Hart puts it, “Trump may be a disaster for their hopes in winning back the White House, but denying him may be an even bigger disaster for the party’s hopes of retaining its majorities on Capitol Hill.”

"This goes double for alternative saviors, whether Kasich or the second coming of Mitt Romney. Which is why Paul Ryan, no fool, ran in the opposite direction."

"But Trump is the tremor which presages an earthquake. For the fissures which will roil the convention will fracture the party for years to come."

"The most shattering is the fear and loathing between Trump’s blue-collar base and the wealthy donors and ideological conservatives who have labeled them electoral lowlife."

The party in years to come will be more fractured than ever. It's even possible you see a Trump party come up in the next few years. Or maybe the Trumpians chase the Establishment out of its own party.

"The role of free trade in alienating blue-collar voters is, by now, obvious — and rocket fuel for Trump. Less widely noted is that Republican legislators squelched programs to ameliorate its effects. As Steven Rattner pointed out in the New York Times, the Republican Congress killed Obama’s proposals for larger tax credits for child care; investing in community colleges; helping make retirement plans portable; and giving tax relief to manufacturing communities."

"The same fate met programs to retrain workers; help them relocate when their jobs went overseas; or temporarily supplement their wages if they were compelled to take a lesser job. Ditto for payroll tax cuts and creating an infrastructure bank to fund thousands of construction jobs. The coup de grace was cutting back on food stamps. In sum, the GOP establishment — epitomized by Ryan — waged a class war against its base."

"The base noticed. Donald Trump is the expression of their anger, not the cause. They are through with drinking the GOP’s Kool-Aid."

The future of the GOP: fragmentation. A war of factions against other factions in the White Man's party.

"To say the least, this marriage is unlikely to be saved. The Paul Ryans of the party are unrepentant; the GOP’s hitherto most reliable followers have now identified the class enemy. The rise of Donald Trump is only the beginning."

"Finally, the fight between Trump and Cruz will deepen all these fractures going forward. Both will lose in November; all that differs are the details of fragmentation. The defeat of Trump will lead to right-wing recriminations against both his followers and the party establishment, intensifying the internecine warfare which will further shrink the party’s electorate. The defeat of Cruz will eviscerate the claim that the GOP can win the presidency by moving hard-right, aggravating the schism between the ideologues and everyone else. The center cannot hold."

"It is hard to kill off a major political party. The Republicans proved that between 1964 and 1968, rallying from the Goldwater debacle to win the presidency with Richard Nixon. But that was then, when the Democrats were riven by the war in Vietnam."

"Now the Democrats are having an honest fight — nasty, to be sure, but one whose premises are commonly understood: that a society does better when more of its citizens thrive, and that helping to ensure this is a legitimate concern of government."

"Not so the Republicans. They are structurally fragmented and ideologically incoherent, an agglomeration of sects with irreconcilable differences. Their only common denominator is that all are at war with the changing demographics which, at the presidential level, are doing the party in."

"In short, the GOP of 2016 is Humpty Dumpty. He has had a great fall, and cannot be put together again, at least as we have known him — not in 2020, or ever. Whatever takes his place will look so different that Humpty would not know it."

Last Night Was a Very Good Night for the Democratic Party Establishment

Matt Yglesias noted this. 

"Good night for The Democratic Establishment."

Indeed it was. Katie McGinty defeated Joe Sestak for Senate in Pennsylvania and Chris Van Hollen defeated Donna Edwards in Maryland. Interestingly, Van Hollen got a third of the black vote.

And why did he get this much? The Party Decides. In this case, the Congressional Black Caucus let it be known, that while Ms. Edwards would be the first black, female, Senator, they were not with her.

Which is fine. Diversity is crucially important but this doesn't mean that in every race this will be the decisive factor.

Of course, where the party really shows its health is at the Presidential level as Hillary is now the presumed nominee of the Democratic party.

This is a very good thing. To accomplish what we liberals want to accomplish, we need a strong, healthy Democratic party.

Yglesias has at times seemed to suggest that the Democrats should follow Bernie and become a more purist, leftist, ideological party-sort of like the GOP is on the right.

I think this would be a serious mistake. President Obama has warned about the Dems becoming a liberal version of the Tea Party.

What made last night so great for the Dems is not just what they prevented but what the GOP was unable to prevent.

Scott Sumner is right when he said recently that he's never seen a party this humiliated. While 1968 was a bad year for the Dems, what has happened to the GOP with Trump is worse.

With the huge wins of Donald Trump last night-remember when he couldn't get about 50 percent?-the GOP is truly at the Eve of Destruction.

The fact that Bernie Sanders was turned back and Trump has overrun the GOP tells us everything we need to know about the two parties.

Bill Clinton is Going to be the Nation's First First Gentleman

As far as the nomination goes, Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee. Even Bernie Sanders seems to be confirming this now.

"Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed Tuesday night to go all the way to the Democratic National Convention this summer despite losing four of five contests in the April 26 primaries."

"But he signaled that his focus would shift from winning the nomination — an all-but-impossible task given Hillary Clinton's nearly insurmountable delegate lead — to influencing the platform of the Democratic Party."

In a statement issued after Clinton sealed wins in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania while losing Rhode Island, Sanders congratulated Clinton on her victories and said he looked forward to "issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come."

"The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be," he said. "That's why we are in this race until the last vote is cast."

"That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change," he continued.

Read more:

The Associated Press is now saying that she can lose every remaining primary and still win. The betting odds now give her a 96 percent chance to win the nomination-Trump has a 77 percent chance to win the GOP

But for the general, they give her an almost 75 percent chance to win. That's before the general has even started. Trump has a 18 percent chance. Cruz has a 2.6 percent shot and Bernie's down to 1.8 percent.

These are some pretty strong odds. I mention Bill being the First Gentleman in the title based on a reader leaving this link.

If Hillary Clinton is elected President in 2016, there will be 2 President Clintons in the United States. Bill Clinton has joked about being called the "1st First Gentleman"

As for Hilary, there are some who expect this to be a tough race against Trump and warn that she can lose. I agree it will be tough-it's always going to be tough if you're running for President of the United States. It should be.

But Matt Yglesias sums up my view of the thing:

"Democrats have thus far resisted fully unloading on Trump in part because they hesitate to fully reveal exactly how weak a general election candidate he would likely be. But it's not necessary to wait all the way until Trump is crowned in Cleveland to start rolling out the big guns. In fact, hitting Trump while the nomination is still at least a little up in the air and anti-Trump conservatives are actively hitting him too gives it added oomph."

I have resisted it and will continue to resist it until he has the nomination. Why give #NeverTrump a strong talking point? I mean Trump is telling his base he will beat Hillary easily and why disabuse them of it-until the election?

However, what Trump did say about her last night is just Exhibit A of how weak he is going to be. He liked Bernie's claim that she is unqualified: he ignores that this was a loser for Bernie.

He claims that if she weren't a woman she'd be at 5 percent. He also says that women don't like her. You know who women really don't like? Donald Trump. And this gendered attack on Hillary is a perfect example of why.

If Trump were at all smart he'd avoid gender altogether. Of course, he will do the opposite and magnify it. Which is just one reason I am so confident Bill will be the First First Lady and Hillary will be the first female President of the United States.

Women don't like the suggestion that Hillary is just there because of her gender as it reminds them of the attitude they themselves have often faced. Trump's use of this Maureen Dowd style attack is going to be a disaster in the general.

Trump's attacks on the 'gender card' will get Maureen Dowd's and Camille Paglia's vote, but that's about it as far as women go.

Trump then complained about Hillary shouting again.

That's going to be a winning argument. Women love when males complain about them shouting.

UPDATE: This tweet Jill Filipovic says it well:

"Obviously a man who was a senator, Secretary of State, & one of the most admired people in the country would have no shot at the presidency."

Hillary has been the most admired woman in the world for something like the last 20 years in a row.

P.S. Anyway, we Hilary supporters have had to wait a long time. Though I was proud to vote for Obama twice, I had been for Hillary first. I've personally wanted her to be President since her husband was President.

It won't be long now. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Love Trumps Hate: Hillary Clinton Has Effectively Won the Democratic Nomination

Hillary Clinton is going to be a Democratic nominee. As someone on MSNBC put it tonight, she can literally lose every primary remaining and still win. She is the presumptive nominee.

She won a huge win in Maryland, basically doubling Bernie down there-about 64 to 33 right now. She won the black vote by a huge margin and even won the white vote by 17 points. So she is going to get the majority of the 95 delegates in the state.

She won Delaware 60-39. She leads in Pennsylvania 56-43. He did win Rhode Island and while he lead Connecticut much of the night, she pulled away late and now that's been called for her too.

But what really matters are the delegates. I had predicted that she could come out of tonight with about 2160 delegates.

At this moment, according to Real Clear Politics, she has 2137 delegates-including 1618 pledged and 519 super delegates. And there are still a number of delegates from tonight outstanding. So my estimate wasn't too bad.

There are also 193 super. Let's face it-180 of those are her's. So add that and she's pretty close to 2383 right now. In the next few days and weeks watch more and more of these 180 start to tiptoe over to her. After she won NY last week 50 more got behind her. The Berners try to claim that she has to clinch without SDs. Which is not true. Obama, Kerry, every Dem since Tad Devine invented the things in 1984 has won with SDs.

But some claim that she has to get 2062 pledged delegates. Whatever. She will get that too. Bottomline is this is over.

Tonight she spoke of 'love trumps hate.' Who was that a shot at?

Don't get me wrong, Bernie won't drop out tomorrow. But he is having a 'reassess' tomorrow morning.

His messaging is all over the place.

He did a lot of whining about the process tonight.

We'll see if he pulls back on hitting her now. Many even some Bernie supporters are urging this now. Trump is liking what he's saying and praised him tonight.

Presumably he's not doing this to win Trump's esteem. Trump is also trolling Bernie and suggesting he run third party.

As for Trump, he called himself the presumptive nominee in the GOP and he is looking more and more like it. So much for the idea that he can't win 50 percent.

But Hillary is truly the Dem presumptive nominee. Tonight she focused on Trump and Cruz and look for her to accelerate this in the weeks ahead.

Many of us Hillary lovers have wanted this for a long time. Probably for me, I've wanted it since I was 21 years old and watched her with Bill on Diane Sawyers in 1992-she had to vouch for Bill on Gennifer Flowers.

I always felt like after Bill it should be her turn. And we're finally getting there. The betting odds now have her as 73 percent to be the next President of the United States.

Trump is at 18 percent, Cruz 1.6 percent, The Bern, 1.3 percent.

Finally Dan Merica puts it well:

"After tonight's wins for Clinton, Sanders would need 107% of remaining delegates at stake in order to win the nomination."

P.S. My career as an endorser has gotten off to a running start!

Chris Van Hollen defeated Donna Edwards for Maryland Senator.

He won by a larger than expected margin of 17 points. When I heard about the large black turnout in Maryland I thought maybe she would do well. But in the end, Van Hollen was able to win a third of black voters whereas Edwards won just one fifth of white voters.

What hurt her is the Congressional Black Caucus refused to endorse her. Elijah Cummings wasn't feeling her.

I understand the desire for more diversity in the Senate-it's legitimate and I think we will see more. But in this race, I liked what I was hearing from Van Hollen:

"When I talk to people of all different races and different genders and different backgrounds, they say they are looking for someone with a history of delivering results," said Van Hollen. "It's not enough to simply vote a certain way or to provide sound bytes. Real work involves forming coalitions to deliver results."

Delivering results is what it's about for the Democrats in 2017. Some interesting comments by some voters:

At a polling station in West Baltimore, not far from the spot where riots erupted last year following the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, voters were torn between Edwards and Van Hollen.

A 50-year-old woman who only gave her name as Harrison said she had a tough time choosing between the two, but Van Hollen's experience won her over."

"It's about what you are going to do for your constituents, not your color," said Harrison.

"Kim Waller said she voted for Van Hollen because of his role in getting Obamacare through Congress. The 52-year-old bus driver said the issue was especially important after watching her grandchildren spend time without health insurance after the death of their mother."

Even though she's a black woman, Waller says she was put off by Edwards' focus on electing a black woman to the Senate. "Why should you put your race in it? " she said.

In Pennsylvania, Katie McGinty defeated Joe Sestak. Another win for the Dem Establishment-and another beneficial endorsement from me! I'm sure that was the difference.

I'm kidding. It had nothing to do with it.

Katie McGinty won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday night, beating Joe Sestak with a late surge fueled by millions of dollars and high profile party support from Washington.

McGinty, of Wayne, was declared the winner just before 10:30 p.m. according to unofficial results from the Associated Press.

With nearly three-quarters of the vote counted McGinty held a double-digit lead over Sestak, a margin far larger than many pollsters and insiders predicted.

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman ran a surprisingly close third, powered a big showing in his home county, Allegheny.

McGinty's win was a victory for the Democratic establishment, whose endorsements and spending elevated a candidate with deep party roots but who had never won an election and lagged in polls until the final stretch.


See what some people don't get is that we need a strong Democratic party Establishment. We don't want a Democratic version of the Tea party. Between Hillary's win tonight and these other races, we are seeing the difference between the GOP and the Democratic party. We actually like our party.

After Tonight, Bernie to Do a Reassess

A lot of confusion about the NY Times story this morning. Jane Sanders furouisly declared Bernie would not get out tonight no matter how bad he does.

Yamiche Alcindor sets the record straight:

"Anyone reading story & headline knows we weren't saying Sanders is quitting. But senior strategist spoke in detail to me about reassessing."

Here is the actual piece.

"Senator Bernie Sanders and his campaign advisers plan to reassess where his candidacy stands after five states vote on Tuesday, though he is adamant that he will remain in the race until the Democratic convention this summer."

“If we are sitting here and there’s no sort of mathematical way to do it, we will be upfront about that,” Tad Devine, Mr. Sanders’s senior strategist, said in an interview. “If we have a really good day, we are going to continue to talk about winning most of the pledged delegates because we will be on a path toward it. If we don’t get enough today to make it clear that we can do it by the end, it’s going to be hard to talk about it. That’s not going to be a credible path. Instead, we will talk about what we intend to do between now and the end and how we can get there.”

Tad Devine is always the more rational one anyway-compared to Jeff Weaver. Devine is a Democratic veteran and this is neither his first nor his last rodeo.

Meanwhile some potentially good news out of Maryland. The exit polls have turnout at 46 percent black and 43 percent white. This could bode very well for Hillary.
ARG looks to have blown MD's poll. MD will be almost certainly closer to our benchmark model."

ARG was that Maryland poll that claimed she had just a 6 point lead-absurd on its face. But Benchmark Politics predicted a 66-34 Hillary victory. Based on this exit polls they now think it possibly could even be higher.

Meanwhile on Pennsylvania:

"Clinton +20% result, given how many people in PA answered "energized party" and how much they favor Clinton."

The reason I keep quoting Benchmark for you is that they're accurate. Here is what the first exit polls show:

"Early exits show Clinton +22% in PA (they released numbers that allowed a back calculation)"

Pace yourselves, Hillary lovers. We still have over two hours till polls close. And BM cautions that exit polls can be way off-like last week in NY.

But everything suggests this is going to be a very good night for Hillary Clinton. Right now there are pictures of her hanging with that man, himself, in Philadelphia: Eric Holder.

They wouldn't get the former Attorney General out here to see a loser.

#NeverTrump and Irrational Exuberance After Wisconsin

A great phrase by Dana Milbank on MSNBC that nails it. I never got why there was so much exuberance over Cruz winning Wisconsin either-that was clearly not a great state for Trump.

But many made a huge deal about it. Nate Silver was totally guilty too. He insisted that the Cruz win in Wisconsin was unexpected and proof that the Party was finally Deciding.

In NY Trump won as expected but he did it with a giant exclamation point, winning with over 60 percent of the vote.

Actually, the exuberance of #NeverTrump after Wisconsin was similar to the exuberance of the Berners after the same. Bernie won a lot of white states, mostly caucuses, but much of the media started trumpeting his 'momentum.'

In both Hillary and Trump's cases, the media got snowed by buying into the false momentum meme. NY was a douse of reality on both sides.

As for the Kasich-Cruz merger, I'm convinced that this is probably doing more harm than good. It's way too late. And it makes them both look pitiful and desperate-no one is better than Trump at exploiting opponents who look pitiful and desperate.

I think 1 for 41 Kasich is inspired as it's right on the nose. As Jamelle Bouie says, what Trump has is what his GOP opponents lack: democratic legitimacy.

Kasich's nickname is simply devestating. He literally assaulted a reporter himself when someone asked him about winning only 1 state a few weeks ago.

Maybe that reporter should sue Kasich like that female Breitbart reporter sued Trump''s manager.

It's devastating as the question begs: how does someone who has one 1 out of 41 states have any legitimate claim on the nomination? Kasich actually has fewer delegates and votes than Marco Rubio who left the race six weeks ago.

As for Cruz, he is not setting the world on fire either:

"Cruz has won less than 30 percent of the vote so far, which is likely to tumble further after tonight. #weak"

If they were going to do this alliance, they should have been quiet about it. It just gives a lot more gist for Trump's mill. It makes them both look pitiful. MSNBC had some voters today who were undecided between Trump and Cruz and now are all going to Trump.

In Indiana Kasich voters are largely saying they will stay with Kasich. Some though are leaving: for Trump. They find Kasich getting in this as too desperate.

I guess this idea made sense from Cruz's perspective-and as for Kasich, he lacks any viability anyway.

But there's a saying: First do no harm. It seems to me this pitiful alliance does considerably more harm than good.

Hillary's Team is Optimistic She Takes at Least Four of Five Primaries Tonight

Bernie's shot is in Rhode Island which accrording to Benchmark Politics is a very close race-they have Hillary up by .25 percent.

Overall, the Clinton team is very optimistic:

"Clinton’s top aides are confident they will win at least four of five states tonight, eyeing RI as Sanders’ best chance."

It looks like she could be poised to do very well in Pennsylvania-perhaps outperforming demographics in the state. Her internal polling seems to be telling her something like that as she will be in the state tonight for a big-victory-speech. Bill will be there again like in NY.

As for Bernie it seems he may take an after the night assessment though Jane Sanders was very insistent that they aren't getting out after tonight.

The Hillary team won't urge him to get out but they are reminding everyone that the math is pretty much nonexistent after tonight.

"If Bernie Sanders loses all five states up for grabs and falls further behind Hillary Clinton in the pledged delegate count, the Democratic front-runner's chief strategist said Tuesday that Sanders has a "virtually impossible" task in front of him."

"Right now, Hillary Clinton with five contests tonight which we’re working very hard to win," chief pollster and strategist Joel Benenson told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." "We believe we are going to expand our lead in pledged delegates."

He continued, "It’s going to, you know, make it virtually impossible for Senator Sanders to catch us after this as the nominee."

"Referring to Sanders' comments at an MSNBC town hall the previous night in which he said he would work to prevent a Republican from being elected president, Benenson remarked that if the Vermont senator "stays true to his words last night, then he will be out there helping the nominees."

"But those are his decisions to make," Benenson said. "We are confident that Hillary Clinton will be at the top of the ticket leading the Democratic Party in November and in a spirited race against Mr. Trump, be elected president of the United States."

Read more:

At the end of the day, Hillary got behind Obama in 2008. Bernie needs to get that you don't get to write the party platform when you finish second.

Input is one thing, but you don't write it.

Apparently Bernie isn't Going to do Everything in HIs Power to Stop Donald Trump

Last night at a Town Hall on Chris Hayes he seemed to suggest while he'd do 'everything in his power' to stop a President Trump, for some reason asking his supporters to vote for Hillary is outside his power.

"With Hillary Clinton almost certainly on track to large wins in Maryland and Pennsylvania today, both sides’ supporters are revved up in a big way over a sharp exchange she and Bernie Sanders had at last night’s MSNBC town hall meeting, in which they battled over how the endgame of this contest should unfold."

"In a statement that angered Clinton supporters, Sanders seemed to suggest that it’s all on Clinton to win over his supporters if she becomes the nominee, arguing that it will be “incumbent on her to tell millions of people” who have “serious misgivings” about her that she will be better on goals that matter to them, such as universal health care and getting big money out of politics."

"In her reply, Clinton reminded the audience that she worked hard to unite the party behind Barack Obama after a bitter, hard fought primary in 2008 that ended with Obama leading her by less than she currently leads Sanders. Clinton added:

“We got to the end in June, and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘you know what, if Senator Obama does X, Y, and Z, maybe I’ll support him.’ I said, ‘I’m supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and Republicans.’ That’s what I did.

“At that time, 40 percent of my supporters said they would not support him. So from the time I withdrew, until the time I nominated him — I nominated him at the convention in Denver — I spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him. And I’m happy to say the vast majority did. That’s certainly what I did and I hope that we will see the same this year.”

I also like that her answer to winning over the Bernie supporters: she doesn't have to support the Bernie platform as she's winning the election.

At the end of the day we know what the difference is. Hillary is a Democrat and was one in 2008. I was a Hilary supporter in 2008-though never part of PUMA. The minute it was over in June, I was an Obama guy.

She had the same attitude. She didn't feel sorry for herself but got behind Barrack Obama as the most important thing was getting a Democrat back in the White House. That's what real Democrats do. But Bernie is not a Democrat of any stripe. He is renting the party.

The difference between Clinton 08 & Sanders 16 is Clinton had a long history w/ Dem Party & wanted a future w/ it. Sanders not so much."

Off topic: Many from Jamelle Bouie, to Chris Cillizza, to Matt Yglesias have pointed out that the Kasich-Cruz alliance isn't going to work.

I disagree with Harry Enten that it is even marginally helpful as it gives Trump a very compelling argument.

As Bouie says, Trump has a 'Trump card' called democratic legitimacy.

And Trump is right: this alliance reeks of desperation. MSNBC spoke to some Kasich supporters in Indiana.

1. Many said they will still vote for Kasich. And Kasich has been unwilling to say they shouldn't. Cruz, of course, is telling them shouldn't.

2. Some Kasich supporters even said that they don't like Cruz and Kasich's move offends them as it's so clearly desperation, that they are going to vote for Trump.


Like Yglesias says:

"Guys, Trump is going to be the nominee."

Finally Someone Gets it Right About the Real Meaning of 2016

The insight comes from Dave R. Jacobson, a Dem strategist. I have no idea how Huffington Post let this guy write there, but anyway...

The true difference between the Democrat and Republican parties is very simple: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Bernie has been roundly defeated, Trump has overrun and taken over the GOP. As Jamelle Bouie says, they can try to #StopTrump all they want but at the end of the day he has democratic legitimacy.


"Clinton, Trump Matchup Could Equate to Vindication of Dems and Repudiation of GOP."

So it is. There has been a lot of talk about the Party Decides theory of elections. At FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver and Harry Enten have been pretty cagey about what Trump has done to this theory.

Yet the theory can be saved: just revise it to 'Healthy parties decide.' The Dems are essentially a healthy party, the GOP is a very unhealthy, dysfunctional party.

The GOP's dysfunction is a shown by the inability of it to find agreement with itself. For the Obama years, the GOP was able to unite around hatred for Obama. But this is not an organizing principle for the long term.

This primary has shown a total inability of the GOP to find consensus in its own party. The Dems may have been pushed by Bernie but they were able to withstand his challenge. The key is that the Democratic Establishment can act in concert. They function like a party-which is based on agreement among its members.

The repudiation of the GOP and vindication of the Dems carries with it some big opportunities going forward. There are also sure to be some headwinds and risks. The Emoprogs who wanted to primary Obama in 2011 have failed to take down Hillary Clinton.

But what about the future? I've listened some conversations on Reddit and it's clear that many of the Berners admire the Tea Party model. They'd like to do to the Democratic party what the Tea Party has done to the GOP.

Great model. The Tea Party has destroyed the Republican party as in any way a functioning party. Again, the Dems showed themselves a healthy party as they beat Bernie soundly. But there may be that subset of Bernie fans who will talk about either taking the Dems over like the Tea Party did the GOP or starting a third party.

Another wildcard going forward: Black Lives Matter. BLM while many of its activists have been critical of Hillary Clinton, has far from embraced Bernie Sanders. Many of the activists seem to have real pessimism about electoral politics in general. The current generation of black voters is very strongly for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party.

At the end of the day, voting has never been something that younger folks are that patient about. They tend to have a certain impatience about it. They tend to become disappointed if everything doesn't happen overnight. The paradox is kids seem to think that all problems in the system must be fixed before they engage with it otherwise they feel it will sully them.

There is some reason to worry about the future of the party if far fewer black voters engage in the process. However, this is about the millennials. The current generation of black voters sees the vote as sacred. In 20 years many of these young millennials may see things quite differently.

Here is Black Agenda Report-which is totally anti Democratic party; they seem to be patiently waiting for when black folks wake up and realize that justice for black folks will come when they realize that only Marxism can save them.

"It seems inevitable that Hillary Clinton’s corporate Democrats will profit most, in the short run, from the acute crisis in the GOP. Clinton will run a kind of “Americans united” campaign against Trump’s “politics of hate,” encouraging Black voters in the illusion that their perennial “politics of fear” (of the White Man’s Party) is actually a sophisticated example of “strategic voting” (the Black Misleadership Class’s euphemism for unquestioning loyalty to the Democratic Party). The end result will be a landslide for Clinton’s Democratic “big tent,” which will have been reconfigured to accommodate millions of “moderate” Republican refugees, leaving Blacks even less relevant and influential in the party than under Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill’s Black protégé."

"However, even this limited scenario, which leaves out any significant and dramatic exodus of insurgent Sandernistas, does not alter the inevitability of a destabilized duopoly structure. As I have written before in these pages, duopolies are like binary star systems, circling a central gravitational point in the electoral universe. A change in the path or properties of one party has immediate effects on both, destabilizing their orbits. At the very least, they wobble – and often, much worse."

I do agree that while in the short term the Dems will obviously profit, in the long term, they need to watch potential head winds.

I don't necessarily accept that the Dems must destabilize if the GOP destabilizes-though I agree they could. I think it's quite possible but not inevitable. BAR presumes that there is something virtuous in having more than two parties, a belief I don't see as warranted. Look at the European countries. They have three or four parties. Does this make them utopias? Hardly. To be sure, they are socialists unlike me, but even so, it hasn't benefited 'socialism' however you want to define it, either.

I've written in the past that we've basically had divided government for 48 years-going back to Nixon's win in 1968. Between 1968 and 1992, the GOP dominated the Presidency, winning 20 out of 24 years. But the catch was the Dems continued to control Congress.

Kevin Phillips' Emerging Republican Majority never quite emerged. Then in 1992, Bill Clinton started the Dems in a period where we have dominated at the Presidential level. But since 1994, the GOP has dominated Congress.

For almost 50 years, then, the two parties have been in a virtual thumb war. The rise of Trump denotes a period where the Dems-if they handle it right-could again become the dominant majority party they were in the FDR-LBJ years for a generation.


1. Wages. The Dems have to figure out a way to raise median wages which have been stagnant for 40 years. So much of the dysfunction of both Left and Right is predicated on this. If this problem is fixed, much of this will dissipate over time.

If not, then expect things to get worse. In this case the Dems may squander their opportunity. Hillary is on the right track with her plans to do something about the gig economy. Nick Hanauer is the man Democrats must study.

The key is not to destroy the gig economy-as the GOP falsely claims she wants to do-but to regulate it. Workplace protections and regulations-unions, etc-need to be brought into the 21st century. The American worker of the future may well be someone who has many online jobs that they do at home.

Yes, it's understandable to be nostalgic to the time when you got out of college or even high school, got a decent job and stayed there till retirement. However, if workers of the future are able to make good wages once such piece work, it's actually enriching-it will give them much more leisure-a significant economic good.

2. Cultural issues. The country remains extremely racially polarized. We see this with the rise of Trump on the one hand, Bernie Sanders on another, and then Black Lives Matter on a third.

What was also very interesting is that black and white millennial see things so differently. Black millennials never felt The Bern in anything like the levels of their white counterparts.

Issues like criminal justice and diversity are going to be ongoing visceral issues. You have the Trumpians on the Right who hate the very big cultural and societal shifts were are seeing-race relations but also the rise of the LGBT movement.

Then you have the young BLM activists who are totally cynical about the entire electoral system. Combustible stuff.

I agree with what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says. Never do we need a Hillary Clinton more than in this environment.

A choice between 'hell and reason' as he says. The Hillary haters have mocked her talk of 'love and kindness' and her promise to offer the nation hugs, but it seems that this is the time for it.

It's ironic that Hillary Clinton as the first female President-the oddsmakers now have her chances at almost 3 out of 4-will play this mediating role. As historically mediators have been a very female role.

'For What Reason Would Bernie Sanders be in Pennsylvania?'

Great line from Michael Nutter, the former Mayor of Philadelphia.

"Sanders has called the state’s closed primary on Tuesday “enormously important,” and repeated his standard claim that his chances are good if turnout is high."

"But even a strong turnout may not be enough for the Vermont senator, since polling shows Clinton with a double-digit lead."

"Clinton, who won the state by 9 points in 2008, has the endorsements of Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf, as well as the mayors of of the state’s two biggest cities — Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. She’s also been endorsed by The Philadelphia Inquirer."

“The Clintons are known here,” said former state Democratic Party chairman T.J. Rooney. “Either one of them could pick up the phone and call ward leaders and state committee folks and it would not be the first or second or third time they received a call. So there is that longevity, that familiarity. They’re well-regarded. It’s hard in this state, in this environment to generate the kind of enthusiasm that Sen. Sanders would need to generate.”

“Hillary Clinton is very well known throughout Pennsylvania,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “She has family roots and history in Pennsylvania. She’s come to Pennsylvania numerous times, certainly Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania, so I think that’s just a part of who she is and what she’s about. I mean she’s not new to the state. I, personally, have no idea how many times prior to this presidential race that Sen. Sanders has been in Pennsylvania. But on the other hand, generally for what reason would he be coming to Pennsylvania? He’s a senator from Vermont.”

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It reminds me of the time Charlie Rangel said of Bernie in Harlem: 'Nobody has talked with Bernie Sanders. Now a few people have been lectured by him.'

An interesting question: how many black folks did Bernie have on his staff before he started running for President?

In any case, Hillary should be in for a strong win in Pennsylvania. The demographics favor her and there are signs that she may even outperform her demographics as she did in Ohio.

Bernie himself is admitting that they lost ground after getting blown out in NY. Benchmark Politics which had Hillary up 55-45 has revised their benchmark to 57-43.

There have now been 4 different polls which have her up by 20 or more in the state-though BM doesn't think she'll win by that much.

Meanwhile she should have a big win in Maryland and Delaware. Connecticut had a poll with Bernie within 2 yesterday but Benchmark Politics didn't put any stock in it-they throw out the highest and lowest polls.

In any case, polling is only 25 percent of their model. So they still have her winning in Connecticut 55-45. It's interesting as most recent polling has been a little closer there.

On the other hand even at 57-43, this is a little below the averages in Pennsylvania which has her up by 16.
The one state that Bernie has a decent shot at winning is Rhode Island. A poll yesterday showed him up by 4 points, though this is PPP which has tended to underestimate her.

They only had her up by 11 in NY-though most polling was similar. She outperformed most of her NY polling.

They now have her winning Rhode Island by literally .25 points. There are some divergences between Benchmark Politics and FiveThirtyEight averages. It will be interesting to see who gets it right.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Did Bernie Lose Ground in Pennsylvania After Bigger Than Expected Loss?

The recent polling seems to suggest it. Benchmark Politics which has been pretty accurate, had Hillary up by 10 points-55-45- for Tuesday's Pennsylvania's Dem primary.

However, a Frank and Marshall poll came out last week that had her up by 27 points. At the time, it wasn't clear whether this was an outlier. The assumption based on demographics was closer to the 10 point margin of BM.

They did say, however, that if they saw more polls like this they'd revise their benchmark upwards. This morning we got this from the Bernie team:

"His goalposts have shifted in recent months. When it became clear earlier in April that New York was out of reach, people close to Sanders started suggesting Pennsylvania was the real prize — but even that rhetoric has softened as polls continue to show Clinton holding a lead there."

"Sanders’ team thinks he lost ground in Pennsylvania after his wider-than-expected margin of defeat in New York, which it believes got out-sized attention because it was the only state voting last week. And now, while Clinton is set to rally in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, a sign of her camp’s confidence in the state, Sanders is eager to project the image that he’s looking ahead to the states ahead, opting to host an event in West Virginia — where he’s likely to win, but which does not vote until May 10."

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There is some irony here.

1. Bernie himself is the one who put so much attention on Pennsylvania. He had boldly declared he was going to win NY and his team had called it a 'must win'-that they were going to win.

2. The further irony is that his team has also been complaining that there is something unfair about having multiple primaries on the same day: this is yet another way that the 'Establishment' has somehow manipulated the results.

Anyway, it was notable as well that Bernie's team was admitting they have lost ground-internal polls are usually more frequent and accurate.

We've just gotten a slew of polls that seem to confirm that he has indeed lost ground post NY.

A new Harper poll has her up 28 points: 61-33; and a new ARG poll has it at 20 points: 58-38.

Benchmark Politics tweeted:

"ARG +20% for Clinton. PA about to get major revision in benchmarks."

In that vein, there were some PPP polls out this morning that showed Bernie with a 4 point lead in Rhode Island and just two back in Connecticut.

BM revised RI again-they had HRC up by 6 before. Now it's more or less a tie-she literally leads by about .25 percent.

However, they haven't cut their revising on CT even though this 2 point race is the closet poll we've seen. They are keeping their benchmark at 55-45.

Finally, a new poll shows Katie McGinty ahead of Joe Sestak for Pennsylvania Senate, 39-33 after being behind 16 in early March and 10 in early April

I'd love to say my endorsement had something to do with it.

It didn't, but I'd love to say it!

I also endorsed Chris Van Hollen for Maryland Senate and one more: how about Kathleen Matthews for Maryland's 8th Congressional district?

Let me be clear: my endorsement here is totally irrelevant and not necessary. Ms. Matthews surely doesn't need my help winning tomorrow.

But I'd like to see if I can be 3 for 3 tomorrow in endorsements. Again, correlation is certainly not causation in this case.

Not counting Hillary of course...

So Funny Because it's True: 1 for 38 Kasich and Losing With Cruz

Trump has a way with nicknames but I think this might be his best one yet.

"Lyin' Ted Cruz and 1 for 38 Kasich are unable to beat me on their own so they have to team up (collusion) in a two on one. Shows weakness!"

It's terrific nickname, and it really gives new life to the meme he's been running for weeks against a rigged GOP primary.

Whether or not this helps limit Trump's delegates-and I don't know whether it does or not; it certainly could backfire-it gives him a powerful political message.

What makes 1 for 38 Kasich so great is it speaks the truth. Every time you hear it the next few weeks or months-and this is going to be a big meme that everyone will be using-it has a ring of truth in it.

Kasich has won just one state. He does still trail Marco Rubio in delegates and votes despite Rubio being gone for six weeks.

Lyin' Ted has caught on but it is kind of interpretive. Someone might argue whether they really agree he's a liar.

But 1 for 38 Kasich is a simple fact. There's no disagreement or argument here. It kind of begs the question: why is he in this race to begin with? How can it be legitimate to possibly hand the nomination to a candidate who has only won his own home state? There is no state left in the primary where he is likely to win. So why is he still running?

A few weeks ago a reporter questioned him on staying in a race when he's only won his home state.

Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton did that? A big deal had been made over Trump's campaign manager grabbing a reporter. But what Kasich did was quite hostile too. He didn't just grab the tape recorder, he belched into it.

So clearly this fact about Kasich hit a nerve. Now he's about to hear about this a whole lot more with Trump's new nickname for him.

Kasich and Cruz Form an Alliance of Losers

After all, add two zeros together and you get: oops, zero. There are a few words that come to mind upon hearing their official alliance to #StopTrump. One is pathetic. The two candidates and the entire Republican party.

I mean when these are the last bullets in the gun to stop Trump it speaks very poorly for the competence of the GOP.

Here goes Trump:

"Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!"

"Lyin' Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!"

It really is kind of sad. Kasich has wanted this for awhile but Cruz only recently took him up on this.

Of course. It's only now that Cruz has also been all but mathematically eliminated.

"Ted Cruz and John Kasich are joining forces in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination."

"Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements late Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy -- something the two campaigns have been working on for weeks -- is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer."

"Will this work? It's tough to say. I tend to agree with Joy Reid: you can't beat something with nothing."

Trump's argument that the GOP primary is rigged has seemed to be very effective.

"Most GOP primary voters-even those who don't support Trump-think the candidate with a plurality of votes and delegates should win. "

"This is only going to give Trump a whole new meme. He can highlight how pathetic both Cruz and Kasich are, and that this shows the GOP trying to rig the game and stopping him from rightfully taking the nomination."

"Mere hours after the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced that they had reached a deal on a strategy to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination, the GOP front-runner fired back in a scathing statement that drove home his running argument that the political system in the United States is "totally rigged" and would be unacceptable in other places in American business."

"It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination," Trump said in a statement released through his campaign."

"In Kasich's case, Trump noted that the governor of Ohio has only won one state out of 41 contests, "and he is not even doing as well as other candidates who could have stubbornly stayed in the race like him but chose not to do so."

"Marco Rubio, as an example, has more delegates than Kasich and yet suspended his campaign one month ago," he said. "Others, likewise, have done much better than Kasich, who would get slaughtered by Hillary Clinton once the negative ads against him begin. 85% of Republican voters are against Kasich."

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You have to admit Trump is right here. It's a fact that Marco Rubio even now has more votes and delegates than Kasich who has won just his home state of Ohio.

So this will play right into Trump's hands politically. I mean, if you think his system is rigged meme was working before, this is just gold now:

"Trump then turned to criticizing the two candidates' apparent coordination, calling it "often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive."

"They are mathematically dead and this act only shows, as puppets of donors and special interests, how truly weak they and their campaigns are," Trump said. "I have brought millions of voters into the Republican primary system and have received many millions of votes more than Cruz or Kasich. Additionally, I am far ahead of both candidates with delegates and would be receiving in excess of 60% of the vote except for the fact that there were so many candidates running against me."

"Thanks to his campaign, Trump concluded, "everyone now sees that the Republican primary system is totally rigged."

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You can't see me now, but I'm literally busting a gut laughing. I have to stop myself as it hurts my sides.

Regarding the Bill Clinton-Donald Trump conspiracy. The Clintons are either geniuses or really fortunate.