Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bernie Sanders Suspends Presidential Campaign

After Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday, he addressed supporters in a live stream from his home in Burlington, Vt. Though he acknowledged he could not win the nomination, he said his movement had won “the ideological battle.” Sanders congratulated former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and pledged to work with him.

Here’s a full transcript of his speech.
Good morning and thank you very much for joining me. I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to create an unprecedented grass roots political campaign that has had a profound impact in changing our nation.

I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who knocked on doors, millions of them, in the freezing winters of Iowa and New Hampshire, and in the heat of Nevada and in South Carolina, and in states throughout the country.

I want to thank the two million Americans who have contributed financially to our campaign and showed the world that we can take on the corrupt campaign finance system, and run a major presidential campaign without the wealthy and the powerful. Thank you for your 10 million contributions, averaging $18.50 a donation.

I want to thank those who phone banked for our campaign and those of you who sent out millions of texts. And I want to thank the many hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been to our rallies, town meetings and house parties from New York to California. Some of these events had over 25,000 people. Some had a few hundred. Some had a dozen. But all were important. And let me thank those who made these many events possible.

I also want to thank our surrogates, too many to name. I can’t imagine that any candidate has ever been blessed with a stronger and more dedicated group of people who have taken our message to every part of this country. And I want to thank all of those who made the music and the art an integral part of our campaign. I want to thank all of you who spoke to your friends and neighbors, posted on social media, and worked as hard as you could to make this a better country.

Together we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become, and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.

I also want to thank the many hundreds of people on our campaign staff. You were willing to move from one state to another and do all the work that had to be done. No job was too big or too small for you. You rolled up your sleeves and you did it. You embodied the words that are at the core of our movement — not me, but us. And I thank each and every one of you for what you’ve done.

As many of you will recall, Nelson Mandela, one of the great freedom fighters in modern world history, famously said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” And what he meant by that is that the greatest obstacle to reach social change has everything to do with the power of the corporate and political establishment to limit our vision as to what is possible and what we are entitled to as human beings.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to health care as a human right, we will never achieve universal health care. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, millions of us will continue to live in poverty. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to all of the education we require to fulfill our dreams, many of us will leave schools saddled with huge debt, or never get the education we need. If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world that has a clean environment and is not ravaged by climate change, we will continue to see more drought, floods, rising sea levels, an increasingly uninhabitable planet.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world of justice, democracy and fairness, without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia or religious bigotry, we will continue to have massive income and wealth inequality, prejudice and hatred, mass incarceration, terrified immigrants, and hundreds of thousands of Americans sleeping out on the streets in the richest country on Earth. And focusing on that new vision for America is what our campaign has been about and what, in fact, we have accomplished.

Few would deny that over the course of the past five years our movement has won the ideological struggle. In so-called red states and blue states and purple states, a majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, that we must guarantee health care as a right to all of our people, that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and that higher education must be available to all, regardless of income.

It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today they are mainstream ideas, and many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country. That is what we have accomplished together.

In terms of health care, even before this horrific pandemic we are now experiencing, more Americans understood that we must move to a “Medicare for all,” single-payer program. During the primary elections, exit polls showed in state after state a strong majority of Democratic primary voters supported a single government health insurance program to replace private insurance. That was true even in states where our campaign did not prevail.

And let me just say this. In terms of health care, this current, horrific crisis that we are now in has exposed for all to see how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is. The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.

While Americans have been told over and over again how wonderful our employer-based private insurance system is, those claims sound very hollow today as a growing number of unemployed workers struggle with how they can afford to go to the doctor or not go bankrupt with a huge hospital bill. We have always believed that health care must be considered as a human right, not an employee benefit, and we are right.

Please also appreciate that not only are we winning the struggle ideologically, we are also winning it generationally. The future of our country rests with young people. And in state after state, whether we won or whether we lost the Democratic primaries or caucuses, we received a significant majority of the votes, sometimes an overwhelming majority, from people not only 30 years of age or under, but 50 years of age or younger. In other words, the future of this country is with our ideas.

As we are all painfully aware, we now face an unprecedented crisis. Not only are we dealing with a coronavirus pandemic, which is taking the lives of many thousands of our people, we are also dealing with an economic meltdown that has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs.

Today families all across our country face financial hardship unimaginable only a few months ago. And because of the unacceptable levels of income and wealth inequality in our economy, many of our friends and neighbors have little or no savings and are desperately trying to pay their rent or their mortgage or even put food on the table.

This reality makes it clear to me that Congress must address this unprecedented crisis in an unprecedented way that protects the health and economic well-being of the working families of our country, not just powerful special interests. As a member of the Democratic leadership and the United States Senate, and as a senator from the state of Vermont, this is something that I intend to intensely be involved in over the next number of months, and that will require an enormous amount of work. Which takes me to the state of our presidential campaign.

I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth. And that is we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible.

So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. So today I’m announcing the suspension of my campaign.

Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been a very difficult and painful decision. Over the past few weeks, Jane and I, in consultation with top staff and many of our prominent supporters, have made an honest assessment of the prospects for victory.

If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign. But it’s just not there.

I know there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on until the last ballot cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that position. But as I see the crisis gripping the nation, exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I could not in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot not win and which would interfere with the important work required by all of us in this difficult hour.

Let me say this very emphatically. As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grass-roots, multiracial, multigenerational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up. We have taken on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, and the greed of the entire corporate elite. That struggle continues.

While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about.

Today I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.

On a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention, where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.

Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. And we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government from Congress to the school board.

As I hope all of you know, this race has never been about me. I ran for the presidency because I believe that as a president, I could accelerate and institutionalize the progressive changes that we are all building together. And if we keep organizing and fighting, I have no doubt that that is exactly what will happen. While the path may be slower now, we will change this nation, and with like-minded friends around the globe, change the entire world.

On a very personal note, speaking for Jane, myself and our entire family, we will always carry in our hearts the memory of the extraordinary people we have met across this country. We often hear about the beauty of America, and this country is incredibly beautiful. But to me, the beauty I will remember most is the faces of the people we have met from one corner of the nation to the other, the compassion and love and decency I have seen, and it makes me so hopeful for our future. It also makes me more determined than ever to work to create a nation that reflects those values and lifts up all of our people.

Please stay in this fight with me. Let us go forward together, as our goal continues. Thank you all very much.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Democrats Well Positioned For Nov. 2020

Democrats continue to be well-positioned for the fall general election according Rachel Bitecofer’s post Super Tuesday update to her original ratings from July 2019. Her update reflects that the current political climate remains universally positive for Democrats.
Rachel Bitecofer, a 42-year-old professor of political science at Christopher Newport University in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, was little known in the world of political forecasting until November 2018. That’s when she forcast almost to the exact number the nature and size of the Democrats’ win in the U.S House, even as other forecasters went wobbly in the race’s final days.

In July 2019 she published her 2020 forcast model that predicted Democrats are a near lock for the presidency in 2020, and are likely to gain House seats and have a decent shot at retaking the Senate. Bitecofer’s prediction model, when you boil it down, is that modern American elections are rarely shaped by “middle ground” swing voters deciding to vote Democratic or Republican election cycle to election cycle, but rather by shifts in which partisan group of voters decides to vote in the largest numbers.

If she’s right, we are now in a post-economy, post-incumbency, post record-while-in-office era of politics. Her analysis, as Bitecofer puts it with characteristic immodesty, amounts to nothing less than “flipping giant paradigms of electoral theory upside down.”

Read Rachel Bitecofer’s full update to her 2020 election forecast.



Cook Political Report is also out with their latest electoral college forecast. Cook’s prediction gives Biden 232 lean/likely/solid electoral college votes and Trump 204 lean/likely/solid electoral college votes. In contrast to Bitecofer’s forecast, Cook believes there are six toss-up states: Michigan-Pennsylvania-Wisconsin plus Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. Comparing Cooks map below with Bitecofer’s forecast above, Bitecofer believes Michigan-Pennsylvania-Wisconsin plus Arizona are already in Biden’s column while Georgia and Iowa are toss-ups. Both Cook and Bitecofer assess Florida and North Carolina as toss-ups.

In Cook’s forecast, Biden starts with a slight lead in the Electoral College math. Right now, 232 electoral votes sit in Lean/Likely or Solid Democrat. On the GOP side, 204 electoral votes are in the Lean/Likely/Solid Republican column. There are six states (and one congressional district) in Toss-Up: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska's 2nd district. Those add up to 102 Electoral votes.

To get to 270, Biden can't lose any of the states currently in Lean/Likely/Solid Democrat and has to win 39 percent of the electoral college votes in Toss Up. Trump needs to hold those in the Lean/Likely/Solid Republican columns, plus he needs to win more than two-thirds (66 percent) in the toss-up column. ...

What you will notice about this map that the more diverse the state, and the higher the percentage of white, college voters, the more likely it will be in a Democratic-leaning column. For example, Colorado not only has a significant Latino population, but there are almost as many white college voters in the state (40 percent) as white, non-college voters (41 percent).

The higher the percentage of white, non-college voters, the more likely that the state sits more safely in a GOP-leaning column. For example, Texas and Georgia, once considered long-shots for Democratic gains, are now in Lean Republican. These states not only have significant (and growing) non-white populations, but, as we saw in 2018, the dense suburbs in and around metro centers in these states have also become more Democratic...

Trump's path to the White House is anchored in Florida. Under our current ratings, there is only one scenario out of twelve possible for Trump to get 270 electoral votes without winning the Sunshine state....

If Trump holds Florida, the next most important states for him are in the industrial Midwest and that infamous trifecta: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump can afford to lose two of these states and still win the Electoral College (assuming he wins all the other states in Toss Up). But, he can't lose all three.

Of the three, Wisconsin looks the friendliest to Trump. Not only has polling consistently shown his job approval ratings higher here than the other two states, but demographically, this state is also the best suited to Trump. The electorate is overwhelmingly white (90 percent), and it has the highest percentage of white, non-college voters (almost 60 percent) of the three.

Demographically, Minnesota looks a lot like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. And, it was very close in 2016. Clinton won the state by less than 2 percent.

But, a fantastic analysis of the 2016 election results by Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin (which I have linked to throughout this column), finds that Minnesota had a higher percentage of white college voters (36 percent) than the other three. These voters supported Clinton by 21 points. And, while Clinton lost white non-college voters here by a hefty amount (21 points), it was better than her showing in Pennsylvania where she lost among those voters by 30 points. This isn't to say that we should expect the state to perform the same here in 2020 as it did in 2016. Instead, it's important to note that states with a higher population of white, college-educated voters will be more amenable to a Biden candidacy. The higher the non-college white population, the stronger the chance that Trump carries that state.

North Carolina is a new-comer to our Toss-Up category. Trump carried the state by 3 points — an improvement from previous GOP showings here. Romney won here by 2 points in 2012, while in 2008, McCain lost the state by less than one point. According to the Teixeira and Halpin analysis, Trump won white, non-college voters in this state by a whopping 51 points — the largest margin among white, non-college voters of any other state in the Toss Up category. And, while the state has been growing and suburbanizing, it is still far behind Virginia in the percentage of white college voters (28 percent to Virginia's 33 percent).

To win here, Biden needs both a stronger showing in the suburbs than Clinton did, while also getting strong African-American turnout and making a moderate improvement over Clinton's anemic 23 percent showing with non-college white voters.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Texas Democrats Call For 100% Mail Ballot Voting

Gilberto Hinojosa, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, sent a letter to the Texas Secretary of State proposing that Texas allow all eligible Texas voters to vote by mail as a public health saftey measure. In part, Chairman Hinojosa writes in his letter that, under the current and projected conditions involving COVID-19, it does not seem viable for Texas to hold meaningful elections in which all eligible voters can participate, if those elections involve [in-person] polling place-based voting. Many of the facilities typically used for polling places are closing down and the majority of our election workers are older adults who have now been advised by the CDC to remain at home in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

“The Texas Democratic Party calls for the Governor to immediately declare all mail-in ballot elections for May 2 and May 26,” Hinojosa writes. “This goes beyond party or politics, this is a matter of right and wrong.” An all-mail election, in which county election officials mail a ballot to every registered voter, is the only option that guarantees Texans’ right to vote while also protecting public health.”

Texas has one of the most restrictive vote-by-mail programs in the country. To receive a mail ballot voters must submit an application to their county election authority explicitly stating the reason they seek permission to be “excused” from voting in-person at a polling place. To be excused, voters must be older than 65, disabled, out of the county during the in-person voting period or in jail.

Colorado might serve as a model for Texas to adopt 100% Vote By Mail for coming elections in May and November. Colorado’s Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act of May 2013 (H.B. 13-1303) mandated that mail ballots be sent to every registered voter for most elections; eliminated assigned polling places while establishing voter service and polling centers where any voter in a county can cast a ballot—either early or on Election Day; authorized in- person same-day registration; and shortened the state residency requirements for voter registration. The act changed how Colorado elections are administered, including:

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Strong Texas Primary Early Voting


With a voter registration increase of almost two million voters from 2016 to 2020, early voting turnout totals this year for the Democratic primary in Texas topped 2016 levels, but fell short of the Party’s record early turnout in 2008 in all but a few counties. Notably, turnout this year for the Democratic primaries in Collin and Denton counties topped the record levels of 2008.

The Texas Secretary of State recorded 2,024,861 in-person and mail ballots from February 18 to February 28 in the state’s 254 counties. A total of 1,000,231 Texans cast a ballot in the Democratic primary while 1,085,065 Texans voted in the Republican primary for a total of 2,085,296 ballots cast early.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Democrats, it's okay to vote for Bernie

From The Week by Ryan Cooper

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday — with 90 percent of precincts counted, he had 26 percent of the vote, and networks declared him the victor. Sanders has won the popular vote in each of the first two contests in the Democratic primary and now has a lead in national polls. He is unquestionably the frontrunner for the nomination.

The win in New Hampshire, however, wasn't as big as many polls had predicted. Sen. Amy Klobuchar in particular drastically beat expectations, coming in at nearly 20 percent against a pre-election polling average of about 11 percent, while Pete Buttigieg also gained a couple points to 24 percent. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden got absolutely destroyed, just like in Iowa. He came in fifth with just 9 percent, compared to a polling average of 11 percent — and a total collapse from 23 percent just a month ago. It appears there is a significant population of voters who are just looking for any kind of moderate candidate who seems halfway plausible.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

New Hampshire Done - On To Super Tuesday

The New Hampshire primary is done - on to Nevada and South Carolina, then Super Tuesday. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves NH with a win. South Bend Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg leaves NH with a strong showing. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar heads to NV with hopes of building on her momentum move in IA and NH. Sanders and Buttigieg each came out with nine delegates from the state, and Klobuchar gained six. NH voters were not high on former Vice President Joe Biden or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Neither crossed the 15% threshold needed to receive any pledged delegates.

Perhaps Biden and Warren can kickstart their campaigns with Nevada caucus goers and the South Carolina primary voters. Nevada’s caucus is held on February 20, a day after the next debate on Feb 19, just a week away.
Candidate Pop
Vote
Percent Delegate
Count
Bernie Sanders 121,579 26.10% 21
Pete Buttigieg 115,297 24.75% 23
Amy Klobuchar 79,455 17.06% 7
Elizabeth Warren 62,132 13.34% 8
Joe Biden 48,428 10.40% 6
Tom Steyer 11,058 2.37% 0
Tulsi Gabbard 9,594 2.06% 0
Results through New Hampshire

But, by the time South Carolina primary voters go to the polls on Saturday, February 29, early in person and by-mail voting will have run its course in Texas, Colorado, California and many other Super Tuesday states. More than half - and up to 70 percent - of voters in most Super Tuesday states will have already cast their ballots early, in-person or by mail, by SC primary Election Day. Indeed a good portion of SC voters will have already cast their ballot early by SC Election Day too.

Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all hold their presidential primaries on Super Tuesday. 1,357 of the 3,979 total available pledged delegates will be awarded to candidates in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries. More than one third of the U.S. population is expected to vote across the Super Tuesday states.

It may well be too late for any candidate to kickstart their campaign by the time SC voters go in-person to the polls on their primary Election Day on February 29. By then, it will be all but over for all but the top two or three leading contenders - at least for any hope of winning nomination on the first round of national convention delegate voting.

Billionaire, former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has been much in the news this month for his late entry to the race and the $200 million he has spent to date on massive TV and social media ad buys across the Super Tuesday states.

So far, Bloomberg has not accumulated any pledged delegates or national votes. His campaign to amass votes and delegates effectively starts with the SC primary. He will have to accumulate mass qualities of votes and delegates during the Super Tuesday early voting period - already underway in several Super Tuesday states - to be anything more than a spoiler at the national convention by making impossible for any candidate to accumulate enough pledged delegates to win nomination on the first round of national convention voting.

Bloomberg’s late entry to the race makes it more than likely he will be able to, at best, suck up just enough pledged delegates to throw the national convention into multiple rounds of contentious broker nominating voting.   — https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/482245-democrats-see-chances-rising-for-brokered-convention

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Electoral College’s Racist Origins

More than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern white voters, the system continues to do just that. Is a color-blind political system possible under our Constitution? If it is, the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 did little to help matters. While black people in America today are not experiencing 1950s levels of voter suppression, efforts to keep them and other citizens from participating in elections began within 24 hours of the Shelby County v. Holder ruling and have only increased since then.

In Shelby County’s oral argument, Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get them out through the normal political processes.” Ironically enough, there is some truth to an otherwise frighteningly numb claim. American elections have an acute history of racial entitlements—only they don’t privilege black Americans.

For poll taxes and voter-ID laws and outright violence to discourage racial minorities from voting. (The point was obvious to anyone paying attention: As William F. Buckley argued in his essay “Why the South Must Prevail,” white Americans are “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally,” anywhere they are outnumbered because they are part of “the advanced race.”) But America’s institutions boosted white political power in less obvious ways, too, and the nation’s oldest structural racial entitlement program is one of its most consequential: the Electoral College.

Commentators today tend to downplay the extent to which race and slavery contributed to the Framers’ creation of the Electoral College, in effect whitewashing history: Of the considerations that factored into the Framers’ calculus, race and slavery were perhaps the foremost.

Read the full story at The Atlantic: The Electoral College’s Racist Origins

Read more: The Electoral College was terrible from the start

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Open Letter to the DNC From an American Centrist

Dear DNC officials:

I come from a long line of Democrats. My grandparents survived the Great Depression because of FDR’s New Deal, and both of my parents were loyal Democrats as well. In my adult lifetime, I proudly registered as a Democrat at age 18, in the 1990s. Since then, I have become extremely disillusioned, watching the Democratic Party become more and more corporate-funded and corporate-aligned to the point where I do not recognize it anymore.

Texas Democrats Mirror Nation

Republicans have dominated Texas politics for more than two decades, but as the state’s population trends younger and becomes more diverse, Democrats are having greater success. In 2018, former congressman Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, came close to beating Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and brought national attention to the state’s changing politics. That same year, Democrats flipped two suburban congressional districts and picked up a dozen seats in the Texas House, putting Democrats just nine seats away from taking control of the chamber — and just ahead of the next redistricting process.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Unity Candidate Elizabeth Warren

Ben Mathis-Lilley in his “Scared of Bernie? Not Feeling Pete? The Unity Candidate Has Been Right Here the Whole Time” piece at Slate magazine makes the case for a candidate who matches Bernie Sanders’ level of ambition and outraged concern for inequality with the interest in “practical solutions” and ability to “unify” that the party’s more status quo–friendly voters say they are drawn to? And perhaps that candidate is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Warren doesn’t participate in the typical mainstream Democratic-politician practice of using the words practical, solutions, and unity as a means of signaling her distance from the left. is a practical-minded center-left candidate with a plausible case that she will get useful things done.

Voters Are Still Looking For The Hope And Change President

In a rant on MSNBC that went viral on Tuesday evening, longtime centrist Democratic strategist James Carville vented his concerns about the party’s prospects for beating Donald Trump, taking particular aim at the party’s leftward lurch with particular aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders. His diatribe took place against the backdrop of an Iowa caucus where old guard centrist Democrats’ favorite candidate, Joe Biden, placed a weak fourth after Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and just ahead of Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

In his rant, Carville uses the narrative framework for the Democratic primary campaign in 2020: There's a fraught and difficult choice between nominating an "electable" centrist or choosing a more progressive candidate who will motivate the base but supposedly will have a much harder time defeating Donald Trump in the general election.

Carville’s message is clear — Democrats have to choose between progressive economic and social programs and winning elections — a sacred doctrine in old party leadership members and mainstream media circles. There is no real evidence for this proposition. Yet this is precisely why former Vice President Joe Biden has been held out as the most "electable" candidate for the general election, on the grounds that he appeals to the supposed moderate voters who are viewed as the key to a Democrat winning the White House in 2020.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Bernie Won Iowa

Bernie won Iowa. IDP released the latest caucus results late Thursday, representing 99.9% of Iowa Democratic caucus precincts. Sanders beat Buttigieg in the first and final alignments of popular vote, 6,114 votes and 2,631 votes respectively, according to the Des Moines Register. The New York Times published its prediction giving Sanders a 54% probability of also winning the Delegate Equivalent count once IDP corrects all the inconsistent tabulations across 100 precincts the paper flagged in its analysis.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Trump Has “Betrayed Our National Security”

Saying Donald Trump has "betrayed our national security" and will do so again, Rep. Adam Schiff used his final summation argument to the Senate in the president's impeachment trial on Monday to urge Senators to take a stand against "a man without character."
"We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again," Schiff, D-Calif., told the Senate. "He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all." "You are decent," he added. "He is not who you are.”
Schiff, the lead House manager in the trial, said Trump has clearly abused his power and would continue to do so unless the Senate stands up to him.
"Can we be confident that he will not continue to try to cheat in [this] very election? Can we be confident that Americans and not foreign powers will get to decide, and that the president will shun any further foreign interference in our Democratic affairs?" Schiff asked. "The short, plain, sad, incontestable answer is no, you can't. You can't trust this president to do the right thing. Not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. You just can't. He will not change and you know it."


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rep. Adam Schiff Urges Senators, “Give America A Fair Trial”

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) provides closing arguments in the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial. He tells senators, "And this is why he needs to be removed. Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies." He goes on to say, "That makes him dangerous to us, to our country." Rep. Schiff concludes by saying, "It doesn't matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the framers were … If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost. The framers couldn't protect us from ourselves if right and truth don't matter."

Rep. Schiff urged senators to “give America a fair trial” in his final argument in the GOP-controlled Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump over his Ukraine misconduct on Friday.
All over the world, those living under oppressive regimes look to us. They look to us because we have a rule of law. Because in America, no one is above that law. To my Senate colleagues, I implore you: Give America a fair trial. She's worth it.

Schiff’s ‘Moving’ Closing Argument In Trump Trial

Thursday, January 23, 2020

12 GOP Senate Seats Democrats Could Flip

Republicans currently hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats; Democrats will need a minimum net gain of three seats with a new, Democratic vice president to flip partisan control of the body. Of the 23 Republican-controlled Senate seats up for election this year, there are currently 13 seats in 12 states that offer plausible prospects for Democrats to defeat their Republican opponent.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Can Democrats Extend Their 2018 State Government Trifectas?

Nationally, Democrats lost a lot of ground in statehouses under Barack Obama’s presidency, with about 1,000 legislative seats across the nation flipping to Republican control from 2009 through the 2016 election.

After the 2016 election, Republicans controlled a record 67 (68%) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation — 36 senate chambers and 31 house chambers — more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats had majority control, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

During 2017 and 2018, Republicans held more total state legislative seats in the nation, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920. Democrats held total control of just 13 state legislatures. Republicans held state government trifectas — where one political party holds the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house — in 26 states, and Democrats held trifectas in only 8 states, with divided partisan control in the remaining 16 states.

From 2009 through the 2016 election, Republicans had gained control of the gubernatorial office in 33 states, a record high last seen in 1922, and flipped 69 Democratic seats in the U.S. House seats to Republican control, and flipped 13 Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate to Republican control.

Analysis: How Bernie Could Win Texas

In Texas, a state still undergoing seismic demographic and political shifts of its own, the question for anxious Democratic voters in Texas seeking to make 2020 a decisive year is this: Could Sanders carry the state, and just as importantly, could his political revolution bring the down-ballot energy needed to oust Republicans?

“In Texas and across the country, we are building a multiracial, multifaith grassroots movement of working-class Americans to engage and turn out voters of all backgrounds, especially those who are most marginalized,” Chris Chu de LeĆ³n, the campaign’s Texas Field Director, told the Signal. Since the start of his campaign, Sanders has received 230,000 donations totaling nearly $4 million from Texas, the campaign said. More than one-third of those donations, 87,000, arrived only during the last quarter.

Read the full article at “The Texas Signal.”

Are Texas Republicans Running Out Of Voters?

Texas is on a record setting pace adding new voters to the state’s poll books for the 2020 election cycle. Adding new voters faster than its population is growing, the state has this month topped 16 million registered voters with the voter registration deadline for the March 3rd primaries, still two weeks away.

On this record pace of new voter registrations the state will have two million more registered voters for the primary than it did just four years ago when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 807,179 votes. Most of those two million new voters are younger more left-leaning voters who, if they turn out to voter, will largely vote for the Democrats on their ballot.

Barack Obama lost to Mitt Romney by sixteen percentage points in 2012 and Clinton narrowed the gap to just a nine percentage point loss to Donald Trump in 2016.

Texas Democrats, fueled by the party’s nearly quarter-century search to find a way to win any elected office from Republican control, are executing the largest “left-leaning” voter registration operation in the state's history.

At the core of the registration operation, which is a cooperative effort between state and county level Party organizations, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for U.S. House Democrats, is an ambitious goal to register at least 2.5 million left-leaning Texans, using data-driven voter targeting tools, deploying more than 1,000 field organizers and canvassers on the ground, and mailing hundreds of thousands of voter registration applications to unregistered voters across the state.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

70% of Americans Say U.S. Economic System Rigged

The notion that the U.S. economy is “rigged” to benefit the wealthy and special interests was a major rallying cry in the 2016 presidential election and is already resurfacing in the 2020 race.

This message is likely to resonate with many Americans. Seven-in-ten U.S. adults say the economic system in their country unfairly favors powerful interests, compared with less than a third who say the system is generally fair to most Americans. Wide majorities of Americans also say politicians, large corporations and people who are wealthy have too much power and influence in today’s economy.

These findings are part of a larger Pew Research Center survey on economic inequality. The survey finds, among other things, that most Americans believe there is too much inequality in the United States, with a majority of those who hold this view saying that major changes to the economic system are needed in order to address inequality.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968, and the idea was strongly supported by labor unions. After King's death, United States Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and United States Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) first introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage.

The bill was finally passed by Congress and Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What A Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like

What an Elizabeth Warren Presidency Would Look Like

Elizabeth Warren’s ambitions for the presidency are not small. Warren proposes to rewrite the rules of the economy by reining in capital, empowering labor and significantly expanding the welfare state.

To understand how Warren would create big structural changes as president, it’s helpful to look at how she has made change in the past.

THE STANDARD ADVICE TO FRESHMEN SENATORS IS THIS: Keep a low profile and suck up to your senior colleagues. As a newly elected senator in 2013, Elizabeth Warren did neither.

Instead, Warren used her perch on the Senate Banking Committee to excoriate ineffectual regulators, duplicitous CEOs, profiteering student lenders and other financial industry ne’er-dowells (interrogations made famous in videos that went viral). She publicly clashed with establishment Democrats such as Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.). She even took on President Barack Obama, leading the fight against several administration priorities, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a pharmaceutical bill she described as “a bunch of special giveaways” to Big Pharma. Warren succeeded in getting under Obama’s skin to such an extent that he took the rare step of criticizing her repeatedly by name.

Progressive strategist and Warren supporter Murshed Zaheed says Warren was able to buck the Democratic establishment because she “came to the Senate with a movement behind her.”

Read the full article at “In These Times.”



What a Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like

Sanders’ proposals go beyond piecemeal liberal solutions by targeting the unjust economic system that fuels climate change and pushing an agenda that simultaneously empowers workers and saves the planet. This agenda would help millions of workers join unions, give workers an ownership stake in major corporations, provide universal healthcare and tuition-free higher education, build millions of affordable homes and protect (rather than target) immigrants.

Though President Sanders could execute parts of this agenda on his own, much of it would require Congress. How could it pass, given Republican extremism and likely pushback from even a Democrat-controlled House and Senate? The question poses a serious problem for any program that meets our challenge. And it is one Sanders is uniquely positioned to solve.

Sanders understands that change at this scale will require mass movements to pressure Congress and every level of government—and to change their composition. Americans isolated and atomized by cutthroat capitalism must engage in massive collective action. His political program isn’t just about policy, then, but about the capacity of ordinary people to participate in democracy.

Read the full article at “In These Times.”