Thursday, November 19, 2020

Collin Co., Texas 2020 Election Summary

Collin County, Texas, is one of the fast growing suburban counties in Texas and the U.S. Its relatively young population has a high portion of college educated professional men and women, and it has a growing population of Asian-American voters.

Since the 2016 election, the county net voter registration count has increased from 540K to more than 654K, a net registration increase of 114K registrations. The median age of all registered voters is 47 years with slightly more females (321.4K) than males (290.8K) registered to vote.

Of the nearly 654K currently registered voters, 234.9K have a registration date after the registration cutoff date for the 2016 presidential election. The median age for these new voters is 36 years. For the 2020 election 171.5K (73%) of these 234.9K new voters cast a ballot, accounting for one-third (34.7%) of the 494.3K total early ballots cast in the county.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Hispanic-American Voters In Texas

The Texas Tribune Reports: Donald Trump made inroads in South Texas this year. Voters in the historically Democratic stronghold of South Texas are left wondering whether this was simply a strange election during moi an unusual year or a sign of a profound political realignment in the region.

Texas Monthly reports in its article, "Why Did Joe Biden Lose Ground With Latinos in South Texas? ," before this year, the Rio Grande Valley had been a Democratic stronghold, supporting the party’s presidential candidate in every election since 1972, often by nearly forty-point margins. But for months ahead of the 2020 election, local organizers in the Valley and throughout South Texas had been warning Joe Biden’s campaign about anecdotal evidence of a shift away from the party.

The Texas Observer says in its article, "Local Organizers Explain the Republican Surge in South Texas:"

Even as local turnout surged, border counties largely shifted right, shrinking Democrats’ margins of victory in the presidential race and in key Congressional and state races. Starr County, one of the poorest in the U.S. and with the highest share of Hispanic residents, had the biggest shift. Barack Obama won by 73 points in 2012. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won by 60. This year, Joe Biden led by just five points. Local Democratic Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who handily won re-election last cycle, hung onto his seat by less than three points.

Next to Starr County in neighboring Zapata County, which Clinton won by 33 percentage points in 2016, voters didn’t just swing more to the right — the county flipped all the way red.

And that trend continued all the way up and down the Texas-Mexico border, where Trump won 14 of the 28 counties that Clinton had nearly swept in 2016 while winning by an average of 33 percentage points. This year those same counties went for Biden by an average of just 17 points.

Did voters in Hispanic majority counties who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 really flip to vote for Donald Trump in 2020? Most of the news reporting and discussion among Democratic and Republican activists alike is in the context of “one time Democratic voters flipped to vote Republican in 2020.” Comparing just the percentage numbers for this year to percent numbers for past years certainly suggests a lot of individual voters may have flipped from voting Democratic to voting Republican this year.

But no, that’s not what happened. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Texas 2020 vs 2016 Turnout - EV Day 18

Texas currently has 16.95 million people, or about 78% of the state’s voting-age population, registered to vote for a net gain of 1.85 million voters over the 15.1 million Texans registered for the 2016 general election. However, there are more than 3 million Texans currently registered who were not registered in 2016. Most of those new registrations are in the 12 most populous and rapidly growing urban/suburban counties that are increasingly left-leaning. (See table below) 

Most people don't realize the rolls of registered voters are more dynamic than just the top line net gain number suggests. Between elections registered voters move from one election juristiction to another and older voters die, constantly adding to and subtracting from registrations across the state’s 254 counties. Young people pass their 18th birthday and register and non-voting citizens are finally motivated to register, which steadily add registrations to the rolls of voters. So, Texas has really gained 3 million — 1.85 million net additionally, plus 1.25 new (replacement) — mostly younger voters for the 2020 general elections. The Texas electorate has fundamentally shifted over the past few years to become one of the youngest and most diverse electorates in the country.

The lion’s share of the net gain in registrations go to the 12 most populous fast growing counties where increasing portions of voters are left-leaning in their political views. Of the 1.85 million additional voters, 1.3 million reside in one of the 12 urban/suburban counties, as shown in the table below. Just over one-half million of the new voters reside in one of the remaining 242 rural counties.  (Additional registration data is at the bottom of this post.)

12 Largest
Counties
2016
Registered
Voters
2020
Registered
Voters
Delta
Harris 2,234,678 2,480,522 245,844
Dallas 1,287,171 1,398,469 111,298
Tarrant 1,077,618 1,212,524 134,906
Bexar 1,045,360 1,189,373 144,013
Travis 725,041 854,577 129,536
Collin 540,084 648,670 108,586
Denton 464,829 565,089 100,260
El Paso 428,320 488,470 60,150
Fort Bend 404,038 482,368 78,330
Hidalgo 338,563 391,309 52,746
Williamson 299,960 376,672 76,712
Montgomery 311,882 370,060 58,178
Total 9,157,544 10,458,103 1,300,559

All the polling now suggests Texas’ voters — new and old — have already decided for whom they will mark their ballots and they are anxious to get on with it and get it done. The massive first day of early in-person turnout produced long lines at polling places across the state’s 12 most populous urban, suburban and exurban counties, as well as some of the state’s more populous rural counties.

Trump accelerated sunbelt states flipping blue by two election cycles. Texas and Arizona are in play this year — a pace faster than political analysts expected. “Census data show that from April 2010 through July 2019, the latest period for which figures are available, Maricopa (Phoenix) added more people than any other US county, with Harris (Houston) ranking second, Clark (Las Vegas) fourth, and five other Texas counties — Tarrant (Fort Worth), Bexar (San Antonio), Dallas, Collin (just north of Dallas) and Travis (Austin) — all finishing in the top 10,” the data shows.

As CNN’s Ron Brownstein notes, the collapse of the GOP across these counties should be a red flag for the GOP because they contain some of the fastest-growing communities in the country, quickly being take over by left-leaning voters.

Texas EV Day 18 Turnout Report - Final

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Collin Co. TX Bellwether - EV Update

Collin County, Texas, is one of the fast growing suburban counties in Texas and the U.S. Its relatively young population has a high portion of college educated professional men and women, and it has a growing population of Asian-American voters.

Since the 2016 election, the county net voter registration count has increased from 540K to more than 654K, a net registration increase of 114K registrations. The median age of all registered voters is 47 years with slightly more females (321.4K) than males (290.8K) registered to vote.

Of the nearly 654K currently registered voters, 234.9K have a registration date after the registration cutoff date for the 2016 presidential election. The median age for these new voters is 36 years. During the 18 days of early voting 152K of these 234.9K new voters cast a ballot, accounting for one-third (33.9%) of the 449K total early ballots cast in the county.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Colorado Early Voting Turnout - Oct. 26

With one week left before Election Day, more than 1,790,827 Colorado voters have already cast their ballots, far outpacing ballot returns compared to the same time period before the previous two federal elections.

As of late Monday, the latest figures available, 1.79 million of the 3.7 million active voters in the state have cast ballots, Democratic voters slightly leading Unaffiliated voters in ballots returned.

Statewide, 37% of the ballots that have been cast so far are from registered Democrats, 35.5% are from Unaffiliated voters and 26.4% from Republicans.

Across in the 29 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District, where the ultra-right Republican Lauren Boebert and moderate Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush are campaigning for that now open seat, 217,242 ballots have been cast through Monday, which makes up about 47% of all active voters in the district.

To date, 71.6K Democrats, 72K Republicans, 71K Unaffiliateds, and a smattering of 3rd party voters in the 29 counties that make up the 3rd district have cast ballots.

In the district’s two most populous counties, on opposite sides of the state and opposite ends of the political spectrum, 19.8% (43K) of ballots cast are from left-leaning Pueblo County, compared with 22.3% (48K) of the ballots from right-leaning Mesa County.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Texas Data Suggests Slim Biden Win

Just for fun, I mixed together the current Texas early voting turnout numbers through EV day 13, the trends within this turnout, and the trends within the state’s 12 most populous urban/suburban left-leaning counties and other 242 rural right-leaning counties over the past few elections to project election results for an overall turnout of 70% of registered voters. Interestingly, the result of this calculation lines up with the most recent polling data for the Biden / Trump race. The calculation has Biden winning Texas by 0.4%, or 42,799 votes. Biden’s win threshold is at an overall turnout rate of 63.9%. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

White Men W/O College Dump Trump

According to a report from MSNBC, the single largest segment of Donald Trump's base — non-college-educated white men — are fleeing the president's camp at an alarming rate and admitting that they have become embarrassed by his actions and his bullying. This was a key 2016 voting bloc for Trump nationally and in Texas.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Colorado Voter Turnout 24 Times 2016

As with voters across the U.S., Colorado voters seem to have decided how they will mark their ballot, and they are motivated to get the job done. During the first week of early voting more than 576,705 ballots we’re cast (mostly by return mail and drop boxes)  through Friday, October 16th, according to data report by the Secretary of State’s office. For the 2016 election, Colorado voters had cast only 42,416 ballots by the 18th day before the November 8th election day that year.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Biden Leads Trump By 15 Points In Colorado

A Keating-OnSight-Melanson survey survey of likely Colorado voters, conducted Oct. 8-13, found Democrat John Hickenlooper up 10 points over Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, 51% to 41%, with 7% undecided, confirming similar results from the two nonpartisan polls released in the last week by Colorado Politics/9News and Morning Consult. The Keating-OnSight-Melanson survey also found Donald Trump trails Joe Biden among likely Colorado voters by 15 points, 54% to 39%, with 4% undecided.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

3 Million New Texas Voters Since 2016

While limiting voting using drop boxes is certainly good news for Republicans, because many more Democrats than Republicans are expected to use that voting option, not all Texas news is good for the GOP. Since 2016, 3 million voters have registered in Texas. That means that about 1 in 5 (20%) of all current Texas voters were not registered in 2016.

Texas voters aren't required to designate a party when registering. Nevertheless, about 70 percent of the new voters fit the profile of those who support left-leaning policies. In 2016, Donald Trump carried Texas by 807,000 votes. However, in 2018, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won re-election over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke by only 215,000 votes.

While most of the attention in Texas goes to the presidential race and some to Texas' other U.S. Senate race on the ballot this year, there are also half a dozen U.S. House seats the Democrats have targeted to flip. That's where most of those new voters now reside. Another place where the new voters could matter is in the Texas State House of Representatives, where Republicans have 83 seats to the Democrats' 67. 

If the Democrats can flip nine seats, they will take control of the lower chamber and will be able to undo two decades of Republican gerrymandering of Texas' expected 40 post-census congressional districts. Currently there are 23 Republicans and 13 Democrats from Texas in the U.S. House, but that would likely change if Democrats control the state House with Republicans losing control of half a dozen or more House seats in 2022.

Polling Difference From 2016

The popular notion that the polls were way off in 2016 is wrong. If a poll says that "Smith" is ahead of "Jones" 49% to 47% with a margin of error of 4 points, what that means is that the pollster is predicting that there is a 95% chance that Smith will score in the range 45% to 53% and that Jones will come in between 43% and 51%. Victory by Jones, 50% to 44%, would mean the pollster still got it right. In 2016, the national polls had Hillary Clinton winning by 3%. She won by 2.1%, which is close to perfect. The state polls weren't as good. The worst state was Wisconsin. We had Clinton ahead 46% to 41%. She indeed got 46% but Trump got 47%, so he was slightly outside the predicted range of about 37% to 45%. The final predictions for Michigan and Pennsylvania were correct in terms of the ranges predicted.

That said, pollsters are being much more careful this time. In particular, in 2016 they didn't realize how predictive educational level was of how someone (especially men) would vote. Having learned from 2016, pollsters are doing things differently this year. FiveThirtyEight contacted 21 pollsters, of whom 15 responded (an undreamed of 71% response rate) and learned what has changed this time.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Polling - GOP Risk Losing Texas

With Texas early in-person voting starting tomorrow, and mail ballot returns already flowing into county election offices across the state, it’s a dead-heat race between Biden and Trump, and Hegar and Cornyn for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. A poll released by Civiqs last Wednesday that surveyed likely voters during October 3-6 found Trump and Biden dead even at 48-48 percent all.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

At 63.9% Turnout - Biden Wins Texas

The thing most pundits and polling prognosticators miss about Texas is the growing disparity between the red and blue parts of the state with each passing election. 

The blue part has been growing a deeper shade of blue as the number of registered voters spikes up in the blue part each presidential election cycle, while the number of voters in the red part remains more or less stagnant.

The rapidly growing population of state's 12 most populous urban, suburban, and exurban counties — Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, El Paso, Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery, and Williamson counties — has not only grown increasingly left-leaning over the past 20 years, the voters in those counties represent an increasingly dominant share of the state’s electorate.

The count of registered voters in those 12 increasingly blue counties grew from 7.15M (57.8% of all registrations) in 2000 to 9.66M (61.2% of all registrations) in 2018, while the count of registered voters in the remaining 242 counties increased from 5.22M (42.2% of all registrations) in 2000 to only 6.13M (38.8% of all registrations) in 2018.

Included the 242 mostly rural less populous counties are 23 blue counties — many, the Hispanic-majority counties in south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley region — that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke in 2018, where both out performed Pres. Obama’s 2012 wins in those counties. There were just over 1M registered voters across those 23 counties in 2018, up from 881K in 2000.

In 2000, George Bush beat Al Gore 56% to 41% in the 12 urban/suburban counties, with only Gore winning only El Paso and Hidalgo counties. Bush also won the remaining 242 counties 64% to 34%. Bush won the state overall 59.3% to 38.0%.

But in 2018, Beto O’Rourke beat Sen. Ted Cruz 57.8% to 41.4% in the 12 counties, with Cruz winning only suburban Collin and Denton counties by historically slim margins of 6 and 8 points respectively, and exurban Montgomery county by a wide margin. Cruz also lost all the 23 smaller rural blue counties and won the aggregate vote of the remaining 219 red rural counties 67% to 32.4%. Cruz won the state overall by just 50.9% to 48.3%. Cruz was able to beat Beto O’Rourke in 2018 only by running up his vote two-to-one in Texas' 219 staunchly Republican rural counties that held only 5.1M of the state’s 2018 electorate. If Beto had increased his turnout by just little more across the 12 urban/suburban counties, he would have won.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Collin Co., TX - Red To Blue Bellwether

Collin County, Texas, is one of the state’s suburban Republican stronghold counties that has been increasingly trending more left-leaning over the last several elections. In 2018 Democrats flipped two long held Texas congressional districts. Texas Democrat Colin Allred, a former NFL player making his first run for elected office, stunned incumbent Republican Pete Sessions to win his long held 32nd Congressional District, which is split between Dallas and Collin counties.

Collin County’s own Texas’ 3rd Congressional District includes about four-fifths of the county’s registered voters and occupies the same territory as state house districts 66 and 67 in the southwestern quadrant of the county. In the exceptionally high turnout 2018 midterm election Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to the state’s incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, earned 47.9 percent of the vote across the entire 3rd Congressional District and won the vote in state House Districts 66 and 67 by 5.7 points and 5.5 points respectively.

The 2018 Democratic candidate for HD66, Sharon Hirsch, who is the Democratic candidate again in 2020, lost to the incumbent Republican by just 391 votes. The 2018 Democratic candidate for HD67 lost to the incumbent Republican by just 2.2 points.

Collin County, heretofore a suburban Republican stronghold, has all the ear marks of being a key 2020 bellwether battleground for the nation and Texas. This year, Democrats have focused national attention and money on the 3rd and 32nd Congressional Districts and state House Districts 66 and 67, to hold the 32nd and flip CD3 and HD’s 66 and 67.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tracking 2020 Texas Turnout

If it’s clear Biden has won Texas’ 38 electoral votes in the hours after polls close on Election Day, November 3rd, then Trump would have no viable path to victory. 

The election would be over that night, before Trump’s lawyers can get through the courtroom doors on November 4th to stop the vote counts in other states, and Trump will no choice other than to pack his bags to hit the road. 

If Biden wins Texas along with the likely blue states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota and Virginia, he would top the 270 electoral college vote win threshold even if he loses all the other key electoral college states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida. Trump, on the other hand, cannot win without Texas. 

Texas election law permits election officials in Texas counties with a population greater than 100,000 people to start running returned mail ballots through optical scanners as the county ballot board validates returned mail ballots, according to the Texas Secretary of State. (For counties with a population of less than 100,000, the early voting ballot board may convene to begin processing mail ballots after the polls close on the last day of in-person early voting.) The counts of scanned ballots are securely held unreported on computer memory cards which can be read as soon a polls close on Election Day. All the in-person votes and all but a very small portion of the state’s total mail ballot vote will be tabulated in the hours - not days - following the close of Election Day, November 3rd, voting. (County election officials in Florida will also begin scanning returned mail ballots well before Election Day and will also begin reporting result in the hours after polls close on Election Day.)

Texas is a legitimate 2020 swing state. Biden has consistently polled better in Texas than has any recent Democratic presidential candidate. According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, Trump leads Biden in Texas by 1.6 points, a statistical tie — and “likely voter” polls have consistently underestimated the turnout vote for recent Democratic candidates.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Texans Need To Know For The Election

Our democracy is stronger when our communities are educated and equipped with the tools they need to cast a ballot that counts:

1. What Kind Of ID Do I Need When I Go Vote?

The following are acceptable forms of ID to take with you to the polls:

  • Texas Drivers License
  • Texas Election ID Certificate
  • Texas Personal ID Card
  • Texas Handgun License
  • US Military ID (with photo)
  • US Citizenship Certificate (with photo)
  • US Passport (book or card)

If you can’t get one of those, you can sign something called a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and use a non-photo ID, like a utility bill or your voter registration certificate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Russ Feingold - Why It’s Appropriate to Expand the Supreme Court

Former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has thought longer and harder than most Americans about the US Senate’s handling of Supreme Court nominations, and he knows something has got to change. As the former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, and as the current president of the American Constitution Society, he has fought to maintain the deliberative process by which the Senate is supposed to provide advice and consent in a finely balanced system of checks and balances.

But as Republicans coalesce in support of a drive by President Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to seat a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before or immediately after the November 3 election, Feingold says, “What’s happening now is a mockery of what everybody believed was the appropriate way to handle those nominations.” Like most progressives, the former senator from Wisconsin supports delaying action to replace Justice Ginsburg until after a president is sworn in on January 20, 2021. 

If Senate Republicans succeed in “ramming through” a nominee to succeed the justice, as many now fear is likely, Feingold says there will need to be “a very serious and public discussion about the need to take serious measures to provide reparations for what could be the theft of a second Supreme Court seat.” As part of that discussion, the ACS president says, there has to be recognition of “the fact that it is perfectly appropriate for the Congress to determine that there should be more justices on the Court.”

Here’s The Nation’s discussion with Russ Feingold on Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, the current nomination fight and the future of the high court — Click Here

Monday, September 21, 2020

Youth Vote Enthusiasm Highest Since 2008

A national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds released today by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School found significant interest in the upcoming election with the likelihood of turning out to vote at levels not seen since the 2008 presidential election. The poll found 63% of respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” compared to 47% during this same time before the 2016 presidential election.

“More than 15 million young Americans have turned 18 since the last presidential election. The Gen-Z generation is facing a once in a lifetime experience of a global pandemic, economic instability, and racial reckoning,” said Mark Gearan, Director, Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. “Young Americans are seeing first hand how their government impacts their day to day lives and they are ready to make their voice heard in this election.”

Biden expanded on Hillary Clinton's youth vote lead in 2016, in the Harvard Youth Poll, and even on President Obama’s performance in 2008. Among likely voters, 60% support the 2020 Democratic candidate, compared to 27% for Trump this election and 49% for Clinton in 2016. 

The last time likely young voters were this supportive of a candidate was President Obama’s 2008 election, in which our poll found likely voters broke 59% for President Obama and 30% for Senator McCain. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that approximately 19% of likely voters indicated they would vote third party in a four-way horse race in 2016, while only 6% have said the same in 2020.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Can The GOP Lose Texas In 2020?

This is not one those election years when the issues seem esoteric and disconnected from real life. This one is about the issues each voter is struggling with every day, about threats to personal and economic health, to the family and friends and institutions that stitch together into what we all refer to now as normal life. 

What’s happening nationally with the coronavirus — in terms of the issues at stake, problems with response, what it means for family, schools, commerce, recreation, voting, culture, retirees, life and death itself — is reflected in Texas politics today. 

The referendum on the ballot this year is whether voter sentiment against Trumpism in Texas, as across the nation, has reached a tipping point favoring a new political direction for the nation — and Texas. The political question for Texas Democrats is whether they have rebuilt enough of a political ecosystem across the state, or at least up and down the increasingly left-leaning urban/suburban corridor between Houson and Dallas / Fort Worth, that they can turn out a winning share of voters. 

Texas Republicans on the ballot this year are looking at cracks in their political base as the Republican advantage in this reliably conservative state is at risk because of a volatile president, a weak economy, and a Covid-19 pandemic allowed to run rampant by national and state Republican leaders. Republicans can read election results as well as Democrats, and they can clearly read the trend was not their friend from 2012 to 2018. 

Republicans have good reason to fret Texas may be slipping from their grasp sooner - as in this year - rather than later.

Monday, September 7, 2020

A New National Poll Shows Biden Leads Trump by 10 Points

A new national CBS/YouGov poll puts Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump 52% to 42%, with only 6% undecided or planning to vote for a third-party candidate. That 52% is a scary number for Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien. It means that even if everyone else votes for Trump—which is unlikely— Biden still wins the popular vote by 4 points. Having the challenger be above 50% is terrible news for any incumbent.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

November 2020 Texas Voter Turnout First Look

The Texas early voting period this year runs for 18 days, from Tuesday, October 13, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020 and includes two weekends. Normally, the early voting period runs for 12 days and includes just one weekend. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period for the November election by six days, moving the start date to Oct. 13 instead of Oct. 19, citing continued challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Analyzing day by day early in-person and mail ballot return voter turnout, and Election Day turnout, for Collin County, Texas - and all of Texas - will be more challenging this year for many reasons. Comparing 2020 turnout to 2016 turnout will be like comparing apples to oranges any way we look at it.

Friday, September 4, 2020

What You Need to Know About Mail Voting

Make your absentee mail ballot count! Texas and most states can reject your mail-in ballot for poor penmanship. Yes, it happens to far too many times. Here’s how to make your mail-in vote count, starting with your mail ballot application.

Make sure your signature on your mail ballot application and your mail ballot return envelope exactly match, and matches the signature on your original voter registration application. It’s best if you use the same good quality pen to sign both your mail ballot application and your mail ballot return envelope.

Monday, August 24, 2020

2016 Polls Were So Wrong 2020 Polls Can’t Be Trusted and Must Be Ignored

Actually, polling data provides valuable insight into the feelings, attitudes, and leanings of voters. Too often, however, political candidates, pundits and strategists ignore the “devil in the details” in cross tab polling data and go their own way, then blame the polls when things go wrong.

The common meme in 2020 is that polling can’t be trusted because 2016 polls were so wrong. Corollaries to that meme are that polls were wrong in 2016 and are wrong in 2020 because Trump people lie to pollsters about supporting Trump, and Trump voters simply won’t talk to pollsters. But these oft-repeated arguments ignore the fact that the national and state polls in 2018 accurately reflected the building blue wave for Democrats winning control of the House. Further, 2016 polls missed Hillary Clinton’s national popular-vote margin by only about one percentage point.

Clinton’s national popular-vote edge was 2.1 percentage points (equal to about 2.9 million votes) and Hillary won the national popular ballot contest by 2.86 million votes. There couldn’t have been too many Trump voters who lied or wouldn’t respond to pollsters in 2016 for them to be that close.

In 2016, 45 states and the District of Columbia exactly followed polling in those states. Florida and North Carolina were considered toss-ups, along with Maine's and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional Districts. The top line polling numbers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Clinton lost by 77K votes, showed Clinton ahead in each, because pollsters did not properly weight the sample of voters without a college degree when calculating their top line “horse race” numbers. Trump's advantage in those key battleground states wasn't noticed by mainstream media pundits who only look at those top line numbers until late in the race, if at all. (Polling companies now correctly weight the sample of voters without a college degree when calculating the top line “who is winning” headline numbers.)

Friday, June 5, 2020

What If 2020 Is A Blue Tsunami Year

What if the 2020 presidential electoral map looked like this on November 4th. The trend and growing magnitude of negative polling results for Donald Trump this week and over the last few weeks show Trump is increasingly an underdog to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to win a second term in the fall. A series of polls in swing and heretofore red states released Wednesday and over the past month make this reality clear.

* A Fox News poll in Arizona shows Joe Biden leading Trump 46% to 42%

* A Fox News poll in Ohio put Biden at 45% to Trump's 43%

* A Fox News poll in Wisconsin had Biden at 49% and Trump at 40%.

* A Quinnipiac University poll in Texas had the race at Trump 44%, Biden 43%.

* The latest Fox News and Quinnipiac University polls in Pennsylvania had Biden at 50% and Trump at 42%.

* The latest Fox News poll in Michigan had Biden at 49% and Trump at 41%.

* A poll of likely Michigan voters conducted this week by EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press found Joe Biden now leads Trump in Michigan 53% to 41%, doubling his lead over the incumbent since January.

* The latest Fox News poll in Florida had Biden at 46% and Trump at 43%.

* The latest Civiqs poll in Georgia had Biden at 48 percent and Trump at 47 percent.

* The latest NBC News / Marist poll in North Carolina had Biden at 49% and Trump at 45%.

* The latest NBC News / Marist poll in North Carolina had Biden at 49% and Trump at 45%.

The latest CNN Poll of Polls this week shows 51% of registered voters nationwide back former Vice President Joe Biden, while 41% support President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race.
The poll of polls includes the five most recent non-partisan, live-operator, national telephone polls conducted by high quality pollsters measuring the views of registered voters on the general election matchup between Biden and Trump.

The Poll of Polls includes results from the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist College poll conducted June 2 and 3, the Monmouth University poll conducted May 28 to June 1, the ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted May 25 to 28, the Fox News poll conducted May 17 to 20 and the Quinnipiac University poll conducted May 14 to 18.

The new numbers represent a shift in Biden's favor since April, when the CNN Poll of Polls found support for Biden averaging 48%, while Trump averaged 43% support.
How bad are those numbers for Trump? Trump carried Ohio by 8 points and narrowly won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, by a collective 77,000 votes, helping him win 306 electoral votes in 2016. Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes and victory in 2020 without the electoral votes from those four midwestern states is less than narrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Blue Wave Tsunami Election Likely In 2020

On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Weekends,” Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore suggested that President Donald Trump could ultimately meet the same political fate as Herbert Hoover — and take down the rest of the Republican Party in the process. Rachel Bitecofer, a professor at Christopher Newport University who accurately predicted the number of Congressional seats Republicans would lose in the 2018 midterm election, agrees. Bitecofer has penned a dire 2020 Congressional election forecast for the Republican Party.

Back in July of 2019, when Rachel Bitecofer, a professor at Christopher Newport University, first released her 2020 presidential forecast, more than 20 candidates had thrown their hats into the ring seeking the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination.

With Joe Biden the certain nominee, she released her post-Democratic primary update of her forecast. In that update, she reflects that like in the 2018 congressional midterms, negative partisanship and backlash to Donald Trump will surge turnout among Democrats and Independents and allow the Democratic Party to accomplish something rarely seen in American politics-spoiling an incumbent president's reelection bid.


Rachel Bitecofer, Assistant Director of the Wason
Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport
University, joins David Pakman to discuss her
political modeling and much more...
Consolidating under Biden, Democrats are now well-positioned to make a full-court press for the White House. Although the party will face the risk of defection from the most die-hard Sanders supporters, by nominating Biden, they avoid what would have been much worse party disunity. With Sanders at the top of the ticket "frontline" Democratic incumbents and candidates in competitive races would have been forced to distance themselves from socialism, and thus, their party's presidential nominee. Such a situation would have risked the party's ability to frame 2020 a referendum on Donald Trump (something they may struggle to do anyway) muddling the negative partisanship that is driving mass voting behavior in the Trump Era.

Bitecofer’s late March post primary forecast update has Arizona moving from "toss-up" to "lean Democrat," pushing the anticipated baseline Electoral College count for Biden from the 278 predicted in July to 289 now. To clarify, this means that Biden is at 289 Electoral College votes before considering the outcome of the swing states in my model which are Iowa, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine CD 2, and Nebraska CD 2.

It should be noted, Bitecofer’s late March update of her top of ballot forecast predates any potential fallout from President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis. But the potential impact of these events, given the constraints of polarization and hyperpartisanship that grip our politics, could soften the enthusiasm of some core Republican voters for Trump's re-election beyond the confines of this forecast.

The Niskanen Center, which published Bitecofer’s full Senate and House analysis, summarizes her Congressional projection as “a blue tsunami” being the “likely outcome” of the 2020 elections.
Bitecofer argues that Democrats this cycle are more likely to benefit from “negative partisanship” that is defined by one political faction’s fear and dislike for the political party that holds the White House. In particular, she points to the strong Democratic turnout in this spring’s Wisconsin Supreme Court elections as a harbinger of what’s to come in the fall.

“Whatever 2020 turnout is, barring something extraordinary that disrupts the election, if more Democrats and left-leaning independents vote than did so in 2016 and pure independents break against Trump and congressional Republicans, Democrats will not only hold their 2018 House gains — they are poised to expand on their House majority and are competitive to take control of the Senate,” she writes.

Getting more granular and analyzing districts up for grabs, Bitecofer believes that “Democrats have at least a dozen very attractive prospects in the House to add to their already robust House majority” and that “Democrats are in superior positions in three of the four swing [Senate] races they need to win a 50-vote majority and have six prospects from which to glean their fourth seat.”
More:

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.

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.
  1. Susan Collins (Maine),
  2. Martha McSally (Arizona),
  3. Cory Gardner (Colorado),
  4. Steve Daines (Montana),
  5. Thom Tillis (N. Carolina),
  6. Open R (Georgia),
  7. Kelly Loeffler (Georgia),
  8. Joni Ernst (Iowa),
  9. John Cornyn (Texas),
  10. Open R (Kansas),
  11. Lindsey Graham (S. Carolina),
  12. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), and
  13. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi)
Three Republican held Senate seats up for reelection in 2020 are rated as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report. Those at risk Republican seats are held by Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner, Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, and Arizona’s Martha McSally — and the list of “at risk” Republican Senators is growing as members of the Party of Trump.

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 León, 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.”