Wisconsin may be big

Cruz scored a big win in Wisconsin. It doesn’t look like much on paper – Trump still only needs to collect about 54% of the remaining 888 delegates in order to lock up the nomination – about the same position he was in a few weeks ago. So far he has been earning around 46%.

Wisconsin is important because Cruz shouldn’t have performed well there. Wisconsin is rich in the wrong kind of religious conservatives, serious Catholics. This suggests that the race is changing and the #NeverTrump crowd are starting to gain some traction. It also suggests that Trump might struggle more than expected in Pennsylvania and he might be weaker in New York’s upstate districts.

The race is pivoting into some of Trump’s strongest geographies over the next few weeks. If he can’t rack up huge delegate wins in the Northeast then he’s finished.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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129 comments on “Wisconsin may be big
  1. Xiristatos says:

    Speaking of Wisconsin, it turns out after Scott Walker ended his presidential run at around September, he signed a bill that dismantles the Government Accountability Board and campaign finance law. Both of these are said to come to effect at around June. The nonpartisan GAB will be replaced with apparently partisan officials… or something

    I just wanted to bring this up here, because it really confuses me. The GAB in response to the passing of this bill stated that “such a move in the middle of an election is irresponsible, if not reckless” and “this might have an effect on voters in Wisconsin”. I really don’t know what they mean… will this have any effect on voter turnout for the General Election? Will Wisconsin really turn red because of this?
    I say it confuses me, because normally state boards don’t really have any effect on voters. I mean look at Ohio, it’s under heavily republican governance, and it was still won by Obama in both elections. Wisconsin still has a democratic Secretary of State, and as you said many times, due to high voter turnout it’s virtually impossible for a republican presidential nominee to take the state.

    Could anyone clear me up on this?

  2. vikinghou says:

    OT, but here’s the latest wrinkle in the “religious freedom” movement in the South. A bill just passed that allows mental health professionals in Tennessee to reject patients whose lifestyles conflict with the therapist’s religious values. The governor hasn’t announced whether he will sign it or veto it.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/tennessee-bill-would-let-therapists-reject-gays.html

    • 1mime says:

      The new Mississippi religious liberty law just passed and signed into law includes this right as well. I get so weary of the lock-step legislation but it is all designed for judicial tests. Now with the SC deadlocked at 8, these ultra conservative states will surely find a lower court that will uphold their bigoted law knowing the SC can’t flip it.

      What is going to be interesting is to see how long Chief Justice Roberts will tolerate the verbal abuse he’s been receiving from Grassley and others before he puts the court first and begins to rule to protect his and the court’s legacy.

      There are some seriously demented people out there. God help us all if Cruz is elected as he believes in all of this.

      • 1mime says:

        And, lest any of you “missed” the passage of this new “IN” law, heralded by Gov. Mike Pence, here is the detail. Legislation like this has been through the entire legislative process which is why there will be no meaningful effort to find a compromise position on abortion. The extremes are becoming more mainstream in the Republican Party. It’s one thing to say that “most” conservatives favor a moderate approach to the issue of abortion, yet pieces of legislation like this continue to pour from Republican Legislatures – and it takes a lot of signatures to put these bills into law. There can be no trust as long as this is the direction the Republican Party is deliberately choosing.

        https://iga.in.gov/static-documents/5/1/b/5/51b52d50/HB1337.05.ENRS.pdf

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Even if their rationale does coincide with an equally divided SC (in which case I would ask why they didn’t make this push before, or did they?), it’s just another instance of Republicans pushing short-term gain at the expense of long-term pain. Needless to say, barring an epic collapse on Democrats’ part, 2016 is already over, and with it comes the Supreme Court having a liberal majority for the first time in decades. Overturning this ‘religious freedom’ bullshit will be the least of Republicans’ worries when that happens.

      • 1mime says:

        “Why didn’t (conservatives) make a “push” for this before? ” Because even the SC has other business to tend to, a very crowded docket, and, besides, with Scalia on the bench, there was no hurry. They could take their time and push these cases up to coincide with their campaign strategy. It should be obvious that the religious liberty legislation mill has plenty of seed corn at its disposal. There is no coincidence in timing. It is all being orchestrated.

      • 1mime says:

        And, this, in Missouri. What happened to patient privacy? And, these postings are just a couple from recent action. This kind of thought is becoming more and more mainstream Republican. There is no middle ground for these people. What one does with full legal authority (Roe v Wade) is being impugned and challenged by insidious, incessant legislative assault.

        http://www.salon.com/2016/04/07/have_you_had_an_abortion_missouri_republicans_want_to_know_planned_parenthood_official_could_be_arrested_for_not_turning_over_names/?source=newsletter

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Assuming that the SC will deadlock at 4-4 is dangerous. I mean, right now, you’ve got 5-3 for gay rights stuff. It is likely to be 6-3 by the time stuff gets there, if not 7-2 or even 9-0 because the conservative justices flip on it.

        I mean, let’s face it – Thomas may be conservative, but he’s not the same kind of conservative as most of these nutbars. Neither was Scalia, frankly.

    • WX Wall says:

      One thing that sits uneasy for me has been companies responding by stating they won’t send their employees, or hire people, in states that pass these laws. Don’t get me wrong, these laws are abhorrent, and in one way, I’m heartened that for once, we can harness corporate power to advance progressive issues. But it’s still companies throwing their weight around in the social policy arena, and usurping the power of we the citizens of this country to determine our laws.

      I understand that many LGBT individuals may not care, that the immediate good of having these laws overturned by whatever means necessary trumps whatever theoretical concern there might be about corporate influence on social policy. I can’t fault them given how much their lives can be affected by these laws.

      But myself, I haven’t decided yet whether this is a good thing or not (ideally of course, these laws would spur the rest of us, and especially the people of these states, to apply pressure through the ballot box, writing our Reps, etc. But that’s probably naive).

  3. Chris D. says:

    The NY Times was pointing out why Trump wouldn’t do well in WI even before the primary.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/upshot/donald-trump-wisconsin-polls.html?_r=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

  4. MassDem says:

    Tracy, would you like a serving of Republican-style optimism for a change?
    The Democratic race is about to get very, very ugly.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/sanders-clinton-not-qualified-to-be-president-221666

    Man, our team is the freaking Chicago Cubs of politics. Or maybe not–the Cubs might actually be winners this year.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Interesting though it is to see Sanders crack under pressure and resort to the negative campaigning that he’s always disavowed, this is nothing more than the last dying gasps of a campaign that knows it has no chance of victory, nothing more. I wouldn’t expect too much.

      • MassDem says:

        Sanders talks a good game about winning the nom by getting superdelegates to vote for him, but at this rate he’ll be lucky to find someone willing to eat with him in the Senate cafeteria when he returns to Capitol Hill.

      • 1mime says:

        I make a point to try to talk to millennials I come into contact with about the election. Almost to a one, they state: “I hate Hillary”. An internal poll of progressive Democrats who are likely voters, was emailed out today and revealed that 62% of surveyed Dems said they would support “whoever” the Democratic nominee is. That leaves a whopping big 38% on the cutting floor. Most of the young millennials I’ve spoken with said they won’t cross over to Repubs, but they might not vote at all if Bernie is not the nominee. This is going to be a big problem for Hillary. The ONLY thing that possibly counters that could be Trump’s disaffected supporters and I don’t think their numbers compensate for the loss of Sanders’ millennials. I believe the GOPe has run the numbers and are gambling that they have a better chance against HRC with Cruz than with Trump, and will chance the ire of Trump’s supporters being neutralized by the millennial vote loss for Hillary.

    • vikinghou says:

      When I converse with millenials, which I admit is not too often, I stress the importance of the Supreme Court. Given the current dysfunctional nature of the Executive/Legislative relationship, the SCOTUS currently has an undue influence on the future of our nation. Would millenials rather have Ted Cruz nominating Justices or Hillary? I tell them that Hillary may not be perfect, but you have to fear the long term consequences of a reactionary SCOTUS and vote accordingly.

  5. Griffin says:

    Hey thought you might like this new book by Brad DeLong: Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/02/concrete-economics-the-hamilton-approach-to-economic-growth-and-policy.html

    “America’s debate about economic policy goes way wrong whenever it is ruled by ideology.

    It doesn’t matter much which ideology—a rigid and ideologized Hamiltonianism would have been (almost) as bad as rigid-Jeffersonianism, an excessive attachment to outmoded industries or to ways of delivering social-insurance that were merely emergency expedients when adopted in the 1930s would be (almost) as bad as the market-worshipping sects of neoliberalism.”

    It sounds pretty good.

  6. irapmup says:

    Aside from emphasis on certain similar points i fail to detect any real difference between the political parties. They both want what is best for themselves, their friends and way down the line those who voted for them.

    Elections for anyone beyond dog-catcher? How about we just appoint our masters?

    If anything we as a people are poorer now than we have been since the late seventies and much poorer since then. I’m not saying people are starving in the streets, but there sure are a lot more hungry, homeless and jailed now than there were almost forty years ago.

    Tough to sing about progress with a song like that playing on the turntable.

    Forget the vocalists.

    • n1cholas says:

      “They both want what is best for themselves, their friends and way down the line those who voted for them.”

      So I guess it would be useful to determine who these political parties consider “friends”, and what benefits they propose to give to those “friends”.

      One political party considers all Americans to be “friends”. That is, one political party discusses issues such as infrastructure (which helps big business, sure, but it helps the rabble, too), universal healthcare (you know, healthcare for every citizen, not just certain ones), a safety net (for the poor, sick, disabled, elderly, children (every single American will be at least one of those at some point) and wages and salaries that ensure that everyone who works is going to be able to cover more than just basic expenses. Sure, there is backroom self-dealing, nepotism, and corruption. But do me a huge favor and name an institution that doesn’t have that, which is in charge of administering 300,000,000 people. I’ll wait here.

      The other political party considers…what was that number…47% of the population…to be moochers and looters, i.e. not their friends, and specifically, people who don’t vote for that political party and never will. They believe that the richest people in the solar system are JobCreators™ who have been blessed by the InvisibleHand™ of FreeMarket™, and will make America great again…if only we give them all the money first. That other political party wants the government, you know, your and my ability to control policy, to die in a hole somewhere, so that big business is the only entity left which can direct society in any meaningful way.

      So, one political party is typical, and has bought into the whole representative democracy thing, and the other political party wants to revert back to an aristocracy where business, instead of landowners, are the only government.

      Stay home and stay pure if you’d like, but there is a real difference between a typical political party like the Democratic party, and a regressive party like the Republican party.

      Have a great day!

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      Actually, Americans are vastly richer than they were in the 1970s. The whole “stagnant wages” thing is an enormous lie.

      Consider a car today compared to a 1970s car.

      Consider a TV today compared to a 1970s TV.

      Consider a movie today compared to a 1970s movie.

      Consider… well, anything today compared to the 1970s.

      It is vastly better.

      The whole “stagnant wages” thing is a huge lie.

      • PW says:

        Uh huh. Let’s play this game.

        We’ll start with a couple of yours:

        Cars over time have gotten more expensive:

        https://www.economy.com/dismal/analysis/datapoints/251007
        http://blogs.marketwatch.com/cody/2010/03/24/cars-pcs-and-transistors-how-to-trade-off-a-repetive-history-of-industry-cycles/

        Movies *are* cheaper than the 1970s, but that’s because the 70s were an all-time high. They’re higher than another other major period in history:

        http://www.davemanuel.com/the-cost-of-a-movie-ticket-throughout-the-years-166/

        Now let’s go with a few of mine. Instead of frivolities, let’s look at healthcare.
        http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba731

        Or an education.
        http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2014/04/06/the-ongoing-inflation-of-the-higher-education-bubble-n1819337/page/full

        Or housing.
        http://www.jparsons.net/housingbubble/

        Hmmm, it’s almost like the stagnant wages thing ISN’T a lie, once you factor out some cheap consumer goods everyone can easily live without.

        Good god, when will this idiotic lie die? “TVs are cheaper, so wage stagnation isn’t real!!”

      • goplifer says:

        Ah, nothing lies like numbers.

        Is the world cheaper or more expensive than it used to be? The outcome varies based on how you make the comparison. It seems like the most realistic comparison should take an item available at a point in the past and measure what it cost in terms of labor. Then compare that same good to its labor cost (how much work you have to do to afford it) in the present.

        If that’s the metric you use, then virtually everything is radically cheaper than it was a few decades ago. And you discover an accelerating deflationary curve that you don’t find anywhere else in history.

        Here’s a price comparison based on the 1985 Ford Mustang vs. 2013 (when it was written) http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2012/03/the-wealth-revolution/

        Here are some inflation-adjusted prices from 1957: https://goplifer.com/2015/12/22/1957/

        How much does a movie cost today? Do you use Netflix? Are you an Amazon Prime member? If so, your per-movie cost can land in the pennies. How much would it have cost you to have first run movies shown in your home in 1975?

        And housing? It’s never been cheaper when measured by the actual price we pay. Remember those mortgage finance innovations we worry about so much? The result (in addition to the financial collapse) has been an inflation adjusted monthly cost of housing lower than ever. Thirty year-mortgages used to be difficult to get. It was also common until about the 90’s for banks to require home-buyers to produce at least a 20% down-payment. Before the 60’s that downpayment could be 30% or more. Even then, with interest rates just below double-digits (or as much as 20% in the early 80’s), payments were steep.

        House prices are nuts in places like NY and SF, but that has a lot to do with the economy in those places.

        And health care? How much would it cost you to get an accurate image of an internal organ in 1975? Well, how much did surgery cost, because that’s what it would take. You didn’t have MRi’s. What about a 3D ultrasound? If you want to get healthcare equivalent to what was available in 1990, well, that would be really, really cheap. We are spending more on healthcare in large part because there IS more care available than there has ever been.

        You can make a very solid case that lower and middle earners are getting a relatively smaller share of what this economy produces than similarly situated people did a generation ago. That seems to be a real thing that can be demonstrated with some credibility. You can’t however, make a credible case that those people, even at lower income ranges, are “worse off.” They aren’t worse off in any way at all, other than earning a moderately lower relative share of stuff.

        And on the whole, we live lives that are safer, better informed, freer, cheaper, and more prosperous than any human beings that have ever been born.

      • 1mime says:

        I remember your blog on this subject from earlier days. I wonder if one of the less tangible differences is the ability of people experiencing hard times to navigate them on their own. There is less reliance on the land, families are more spread out, government is run by people one doesn’t know, danger is based more on international threats than domestic ones, education and health care though “better” generally, are still very expensive and driven by forces that are less individually controlled. I understand the logic of your point but I do think there is a cost of societal change that has accompanied all our progress.

      • goplifer says:

        With greater wealth has come greater independence. Greater independence means we live with fewer obligations to one another. With those bonds becoming more voluntary, they are weaker, they are upheld with less intensity and commitment. With those bonds weakened we find ourselves more and more alone. Communities that still exist are thinner and weaker. That trend toward isolation is greater, I think, at lower incomes, where less of what we’ve lost with our rising independence can be made up with cash-based interactions.

        Once we had shaman, and then priests, and then pastors. And of course there was always the bartender. Now we have psychiatrists. That PhD isn’t cheap.

        Every step forward is a kind of trade. I don’t think anyone would seriously want to undo what we’ve accomplished, but it is certainly coming at a cost. The price is worth it, but it is higher and stranger than anyone might have anticipated.

      • 1mime says:

        Don’t forget facebook and twitter (-:

        Really, interesting, thoughtful reply, Lifer. Thanks.

  7. texan5142 says:

    Hell of choice the GOP has right now, Drump or That Vampire thing called Cruz, what a conundrum.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Lindsey Graham said it best: “It’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?”

  8. 1mime says:

    I’m on Bernie’s email list and if there is any doubt about his firm intention to win the Dem nomination, read on:

    “You MUST see what CNN reported last night. It’s very disturbing, and you need to know about it right now.
    “The Clinton campaign has been watching these Wisconsin results come in, and the delegate race of course is tight there, but the reality is they’re running out of patience. So they’re going to begin deploying a new strategy, it’s going to be called disqualify him, defeat him and then they can unify the party later.”
    Disqualify him, defeat him, and unify the party later.
    One more time. This is the Clinton campaign’s strategy going forward: Disqualify Bernie, defeat our movement, and pick up the pieces later.
    We have to get ready for the Clinton campaign’s attacks. We’re on the path to the nomination, and now they’re going to try to block it with super PACs, billionaires, and everything else they’ve got.”

    • johngalt says:

      I’m rather skeptical of getting my news from campaign fundraising releases and I can’t really find anything on CNN that matches this backroom intrigue. The closest I found is this: “He’s a relatively new Democrat, and, in fact, I’m not even sure he is one,” Clinton told Politico’s Glenn Thrush in an interview published on Wednesday morning. “He’s running as one. So I don’t know quite how to characterize him. I’ll leave that to him.”

      That seems a pretty accurate way to describe someone who has never run for office (before now) as a Democrat.

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-democrat/index.html

      • 1mime says:

        It would be the ultimate irony if Sanders – an avowed independent – were somehow able to upset the long time Democrat by using the Democratic platform. And, yes, I know campaign rhetoric is not the same as mainline journalism, but it’s what Sanders is sending out to his base. And, THAT is what matters in terms of firing them up, wouldn’t you say? This group of mostly young enthusiastic voters doesn’t dwell much in hard core specifics, which is not to denigrate their intelligence or right to support the candidate of their choice, merely as an observation of what is motivational for them.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “He’s a relatively new Democrat, and, in fact, I’m not even sure he is one,” Clinton told Politico’s Glenn Thrush in an interview published on Wednesday morning. “He’s running as one. So I don’t know quite how to characterize him. I’ll leave that to him.”

        That seems a pretty accurate way to describe someone who has never run for office (before now) as a Democrat.”

        Nah, tgats a bit sleazy. Its certainly not the most egregious of acts, but she’s being disingenuous here. The whole “well, gosh, I don’t really know if hes a democrat” is dumb. She’s subtly saying “I’m not sure this guy is one of us”.

        The ” well, gee, shucks, I don’t know if he is or isn’t *insert thing here*….I’m just asking the question” is ripped right out of the book of Trump.

        But whatever. Its a political race and even clean ones are always a little dirty.

      • johngalt says:

        Well, Sanders has never before in his political life run as a Democrat. Certainly, he caucuses with them and is ideologically on the left end of the Democratic party, but it does seem a little opportunistic to start calling yourself something when that becomes useful for your ambitions. It’s a small point, perhaps, but this is politics and HRC is trying to win an election. It is certainly small beans compared to what the GOP candidates are doing to each other.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s looking like this “tiff” between Clinton and Sanders over the fore-mentioned “he’s/she’s not qualified” is gonna test the ability of both to play nice. Clinton may be realizing that her hands off approach in order to keep Sanders (and his supporters) in her corner “when” she is nominated is not helping her. She’s fighting for her political life now and seems willing to accept Sanders as a threat. And, she’s correct.

        http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/dem-primaries/275452-sanders-defends-calling-clinton-unqualified-for-white-house

    • It kinda funny that all the media attention has been on the GOP circus, but, objectively speaking, there’s considerable mayhem on the Dem side, too. If some of the super delegates start defecting to Bernie, it’s gonna be a whole new ball game for the inevitable Democratic nominee…

      • 1mime says:

        As you know, I am a Hillary supporter, but I will support Bernie with my whole heart if he should be the nominee.

      • Bless you, 1mime. I will no doubt support the GOP nominee, whoever that may be, but almost certainly not wholeheartedly. More than likely, I’ll have to fortify myself with a clothespin for my nose, and some high-dollar sippin’ bourbon for my psyche.

      • 1mime says:

        You and millions of other Republicans, Tracy. If it makes you feel better, you’ll have lots of company….for the bourbon though I don’t guarantee the vintage that Trump supporters might be drinking and Cruz supporters, well, do they drink? If not now, when?

      • objv says:

        Tracy, pass the clothespins and the booze. Although I’m not much of a drinker, I may need the extra fortitude as well. :-/

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Sounds like the last desperate gasps of a campaign that knows it can’t win this. Clinton doesn’t need to defeat Sanders; she already has.

  9. IlliniTX says:

    No comment just yet; I do want on the list for notification of new posts though, so…..hello.

    • 1mime says:

      Welcome, Illini! It’s a nice group here and all comments are welcome.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Oskee Wow-Wow! Chief, Chief, Chief!!!

      Oh yeah – sorry about the ‘Chief’ thing. Very disrespectful…

      • 1mime says:

        Practice your nice greeting, fifty! Glad you’re lurking…you’ve been so quiet of late.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Yeah, mime. Been pretty busy getting ready for the ‘migration’.. I had to offer greetings to a fellow alum though!

      • 1mime says:

        We’ll look forward to your “northern posts”, fifty. Don’t be a stranger!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I can’t believe folks let you freely cross the border as easily as you do.

        it may be harder with Trump’s wall. Canada isn’t sending their best and brightest. Some of them may be good people, but we don’t need no stinkin’ Tim Horton’s around here.

      • Good point, fifty. In fact, both Ilini and Illinois are French/Ottawa bastardizations of “Inoka,” which is the term the members of that (now sadly mostly extinct) confederation tribes referred to themselves by. As such, names like Illini and Illinois are clearly racist, and should be dropped immediately from our lexicon. The great state of I** will simply have to come up with a new, non-racist appellation. 😉

      • fiftyohm says:

        HT – Tim’s has already crossed the border into New York! And I think about the last thing Canada needs right now is to keep my tax dollars out. OTOH, and with the lunacy of the Donald and his wall aside, Canada either needs to work on, (and perhaps emulate), our ability to assimilate immigrants, (preferable), or take some measures to stem an ill-managed, and expensive tide. It’s sort of a Europe-in-miniature. (Of course, this is no endorsement of our foolish immigration policies – only a comment on our cultural ability to make those who do come our own.)

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tracy – Thumbs up! Perhaps they should change the name of the state. (I’m so glad I left lo those many years ago…)

      • objv says:

        Fifty, lo to you, too.

        Clearly, Native Americans are a temperamental lot when it comes to names. 🙂 The Navajo called the ancient people who lived in the Four Corners area before them Anasazi meaning “ancestors of our enemies.”

        The modern day descendants of the “Anasazi” objected to being referred to as such so are now described as Ancestral Puebloans at archeological sites.

      • fiftyohm says:

        objv – Heh. Next time I’m in NM, (daughter lives there now), and I meet a cave dweller, I’ll be sure to ask their preferred method of address! Good grief, such nonsense makes me crazy!

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        fifty – I understand that you are a woodworker. Am I correct? If so do you have a shop in both here and in Canada?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Sadly, not here in Houston. We’re in Midtown here, and no place for one. Now in Canada, there’s a basement with a woodshop I built out specifically for the purpose. Got a sawmill last year too. I do design here, though.

        Thanks for asking! 🙂

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Sawmill, thats cool. I had a guy saw up a Box Elder but I’ve been distracted and haven’t used any yet.

      • objv says:

        Fifty, where in NM does your daughter live? I’m up in Farmington. It’s a dusty, little city, but it’s also just a short drive away from all kinds of interesting and beautiful places.

      • fiftyohm says:

        She’s a water resources engineer with thet Bureau of Reclamation in Albuquerque, objv. She’s loving it there!

  10. vikinghou says:

    Despite his recent setbacks, I think Trump will still arrive in Cleveland with a plurality of delegates. I saw a poll yesterday saying that over 60% of Republicans think that the candidate who arrives at the convention with the most delegates should become the nominee. However, as we know, this isn’t in line with the Convention rules. If Trump fails to win the nomination there will be an uproar among his followers. A Trump 3rd party run would be possible, or maybe the Trumpistas will simply stay home on Election Day.

    Cruz won’t arrive in Cleveland with the required number of delegates either, but he is reported to have a strong organization lining up delegates who would vote for him after the first ballot. Nevertheless, Cruz is so hated by his colleagues that I find it hard to imagine the GOPe would allow him to become the nominee. I think he’s being used as an anti-Trump sacrificial lamb who will be slaughtered at the Convention.

    In any case, I think this Convention is going to be ugly.

    • MassDem says:

      Just what the embattled Cleveland Division of Police needs at this point. Good week to get out of town if you are a resident.

      • 1mime says:

        Especially with $80M allocated from our federal tax dollars in hard hats and stun guns. I’m sure Black people will not be spending much time in the city unless they have a paid reason for doing so.

    • 1mime says:

      I’m gonna say this again: the only thing Republicans hate more than Ted Cruz, is the possibility of losing the best shot at capturing the presidency, SCOTUS, and retaining Congress that they’ve had in decades. They will hold their noses and vote for Cruz. The Trump supporters, now, may be different. It is this group that may roil the carefully orchestrated GOPe effort to snatch the nomination of Trump from the convention. In a sense, they may decide who the next POTUS will be.

      • vikinghou says:

        Maybe the Democrats should ask: “Do you really want another President from Texas?”

      • 1mime says:

        Dems are not the problem, Viking (-: To your point, if a good Democratic candidate emerges and I still live in TX….sure, I’ll vote for them. In fact, I vote for every good Republican candidate I can find in TX races as Dems are so shut out of the process. Might as well, eh?

    • 1mime says:

      This is a pretty interesting story about Cruz’ efforts to mend fences with his Senate colleagues. He knows he needs them….they know he needs them….they don’t like him….but they will vote for him….the question is, will they ever be able to trust him?

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/cruz-senate-outreach-221587

    • goplifer says:

      I hereby predict that 100% of the delegates on the convention floor will each feel pretty convinced that they should personally be picking the nominee. And there won’t be anything to stop them.

  11. flypusher says:

    I really feel we’re walking the razor’ s edge here. Both Cruz and Trump would be horrible Presidents, but we need neither one to get too far behind or too far ahead if we rooting for them to cancel each other out at a contested convention. Nail-biting times here.

  12. stephen says:

    This is a little off the subject. I found this article on Bloomberg about solar and wind power edging out fossil fuels because of economics. This is going to be a big disruptive technology. But a good change.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/wind-and-solar-are-crushing-fossil-fuels

    • MassDem says:

      I hate to wish ill on our Texas friends here and their economy, but it’s nice to read some good news for a change!

      A year ago my daughter & I went on a service trip to West Virginia. It was extremely enlightening–very different vibe from metro Boston as you might imagine. People were very kind to us, and honestly I think I got a lot more out of talking with the residents than they did out of our efforts working at this site or that. Mostly we were building garden beds to get people to grow & eat more fresh vegetables as part of an initiative to counteract the rampant diabetes, obesity etc. in the area. Food deserts exist in rural areas too.

      What struck me was that almost without exception, almost every man we met had at one time or another worked in the local coal mines, as it was by far the best paying job available in the region. So many, many people are being affected profoundly by the dying of the coal industry. It seems vitally important to me that we as a nation come up with some plans to address what to do with former employees of fossil fuel industries, especially coal. It doesn’t seem fair to leave the states to deal with it all on their own, especially states with as few resources as WV. It’s tough though to think of what industry could replace coal, and it seems cruel and unrealistic to expect everyone to just up and move to a more prosperous part of the US.

      • 1mime says:

        Mossler said it best: whether it is trade policy or obsolescence due to whatever factors, there must be a commitment on the part of industry in concert with government to offer retraining and help for people who lose their livelihood. The United States system of capitalism is not generous to those who fall from its grasp – whether by circumstance or exclusion.

        An example discussed on NPR this morning dealt with paid family leave. The findings of this research entity (missed name, sorry) was that for every month of paid maternity leave, there is a 13% increase in life expectancy for infants. 13%! When pressed on the subject of where the US stands relative to neonatal outcomes, the researcher stated 47th. This, despite being an extremely wealthy country. Turns out that business sees paid family leave as an expense that they do not wish to offer or absorb. The U.S. joins Papua New Guinea and Surinam as the only 3 countries in the WORLD that do not offer paid maternity leave. That’s a sad statistic and it is driven by callousness to the needs of women and materialistic values that trump family. There are many fine things about the U.S. to laud, but its treatment of women pales. Exceptionalism in the wrong direction.

        Republicans like to think of themselves as “big on family” and “life”, well, once again, it all depends upon “which” life you are considering.

      • johngalt says:

        If people want to advocate for paid parental leave, then it should not be left to businesses to fund directly. This is a burden on small businesses who are less able to afford to be without an employee and is a disincentive to hire women of reproductive age, which is not what you want to do. California employers pay a payroll tax to the state (as for unemployment insurance and other things), which then covers 55% of the woman’s salary/wages for 6 weeks. San Francisco just mandated that employers cough up for the other 45% and they will find that has exactly the unintended consequences I mentioned.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, it matters not “how” it is funded, just that it “is” funded and provided. I think business needs to make a commitment here for so many reasons, not the least of which is employee retention. There is the other salient fact that only 3 countries in the world do not offer this benefit, so there are plenty of templates out there to model from…..if one wants to offer the benefit. I think it is the right thing to do and I think our nation will be stronger for it. I guess when one’s ruling party is still squabbling about whether contraception is acceptable that we may be light years away on paid maternity leave.

      • Stephen says:

        I am a hobbyist gardener. Growing at times a good part of my food and exploring new to me food plants. What you are doing is well worth it MassDem. During the Great Depression scientists wondered why the poor up north who suffered from calcium deficiency because they did not have access to milk, while poor rural Southerns who also lacked milk did not. The reason why is those people growing and eating collard greens. Easy to grow year round and an excellent source of calcium. Teaching how to garden makes things better for poor people. Even in cities land can be usually found to grow fruits and vegetables.

        I have seen people in the Utility Industry move from fossil fuel plants to wind and solar plants. This involves relocating most of the time. Maybe with relocating help and training coal industry people can move to a rapidly growing business. With the right safety net people can weather disruptive technology and even thrive. Smart companies know stopping change and progress is a fool’s errand. So they adapt and try to stay on top of the curve instead. People need to do the same. And with some help can.

      • 1mime says:

        Stephen, Try this old farmer’s natural fertilizer with your greens: save up your eggshells and crush them and sprinkle around the collards. You will be surprised how much re-growth you’ll get from your greens…crop after crop. My husband gardened for years and we really enjoyed the entire process (of course, he did the hard part – tilling, shaping the rows, composting, etc – I did a lot of the picking and all the cooking and processing.) Our kids had fun too…especially during blackberry season as we reserved a row in the garden for blackberry cultivation with the stipulation that this was “their” garden. ONce we ate our fill, they would pick the fruit and set up a “blackberry stand” at the end of the driveway. This was pre-newspaper delivery days but we were able to teach our children a lot of lessons through our garden as well as enjoy its bounty. The rule on picking corn was that I had to have the pot on the stove and the water at a simmer before he would start picking and shucking for eventual boiling. Mmmm good. It was fun and great memories!

      • objv says:

        Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to visit a ranch/farm that was practicing sustainable agriculture in Cortez, CO. In my area of the country, there is little rain and this ranch had a large swale dug to collect rainwater to water its crops and trees.

        http://fourcornersfreepress.com/?p=2542

      • MassDem says:

        The article about the swale was very interesting objv. If I understood it correctly, the trees were planted 15-20 ft above where the water collected in the swale, yet surprisingly that was enough to sustain them. Desert agriculture is completely foreign to me.

      • objv says:

        MassDem, it’s also foreign to me, but I’m rapidly learning. 🙂 Large parts of the country are going to have to adjust their way of thinking about water usage as the population increases, aquifers start drying up and we go through more periods of draught.

      • 1mime says:

        Yikes! We are going to start experiencing more drought in America? Ob, if I didn’t know you better, I’d suspect you believed in global warming……(-:

        Water will be the scarce resource of the future. We would be wise to use what we have now wisely.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I was wrong there. No we won’t be going through more “draughts”, 🙂 but there is no question that we will experience more periods of drought – if one believes in climate change or not. Evidence exists that parts of our country have gone through decades (perhaps even centuries) of mega droughts.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, ob, we can agree on the importance and scarcity of water. That’s something.

    • vikinghou says:

      I’ve thought it would be great if renewable energy companies could go to the coal states and retrain these people for careers in solar and wind. Former miners could learn how to install these technologies, and perhaps there could be factories to manufacture some of the components. Perhaps I’m being too idealistic.

      • MassDem says:

        That seems to be as reasonable an alternative as any. Most of the new jobs there were in health care or tourism, although I’m not sure the latter is sustainable. Unfortunately, most of the more highly-educated people in Appalachia end up leaving the area, so that puts some constraints on what businesses will come.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s wonderful that you and your daughter were helping them by teaching them how to garden. I love the line that suggests that instead of giving fish, teach others how to fish. That is what you are doing. Proud of you.

      • 1mime says:

        NO, you are not being too unrealistic, America is being deficient.

      • MassDem says:

        In truth, we weren’t so much the educators (there are people there who fill that role) so much as the worker bees. We built raised beds out of lumber and shoveled mountains of cow manure during that week. I was surprised to see what one reclaimed site from mountain-top removal looked like–huge beautiful meadows high up in the hills. Not what I expected.

        Actually, that’s pretty much the story anywhere I’ve been in the US–my assumptions about a place end up being challenged every time. My dream is to someday take some a few weeks & travel all over the country to meet people and learn about the place they live. I guess I was greatly influenced by the book “Blue Highways” by William Least-Heat Moon. I doubt that I would end up writing a book myself, but it might be fun to blog. That is the only item on my bucket list right now.

      • 1mime says:

        David Baldacci is from W VA. One of his lessor known books is one which tells a story based upon the life of his grandmother, who grew up in coal country on a cleared mountain top. (Wish You Well) It’s a nice read, strong characters, and shows an understanding of how the people who work in the coal industry struggle. Here’s a link (for your reading bucket list.)

        http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/87745.Wish_You_Well

      • Creigh says:

        MassDem, in one of his books (PrairyErth, I think) William Least-Heat Moon recommended that a person who wants to see America should drive US Hwy 50 end to end, from Ocean City, MD, past the White House in DC, all the way to San Francisco. In another book he claimed to have visited every county in the US. PrairyErth, btw, is his masterpiece, in my opinion.

      • Well, gang, a useful question might be to ask yourself why unemployed coal miners do not simply pull up stakes, and seek employment in other industries and/or other locales on their own account. (One suspects the answer will prove enervating.)

      • 1mime says:

        Most of these people are dirt-poor, have little education and their only skills involve coal mining. Their families for generations have mined for coal. That’s why. The same question is often asked of other people who live in difficult circumstances. If you don’t know the answer before you ask it, you would never understand the “why” of it either.

    • 1mime says:

      Get on board, or die.

    • vikinghou says:

      Speaking as a retired researcher in the oil and gas industry, the retrenchment that is currently taking place is unprecedented in my 35+ years of experience. Up to now, the worst period was around 1986 when my company terminated 25% of our workforce. Today that seems quaint.

      During previous downturns, even in 1986, R&D was generally protected. The philosophy back then was that, during downturns, it was time to develop the new products and technologies that clients would need when the industry recovered. This time, however, R&D is being decimated along with everyone else. To me this is an implicit acknowledgment by upper management that the industry may be in a downward spiral. There will be periodic upturns but, over the long haul, the really good times won’t come back. I’m convinced that the pace of renewable energy development is a major factor in their decision making.

      Competent energy company executives should be looking for ways to jump on the renewables bandwagon. Our industry has extraordinary technical prowess in many disciplines that could be directed toward renewables. Unfortunately, this isn’t in the culture of most companies engaged in the extraction of fossil fuels. I’m afraid the oil and gas industry is about to have its Kodak moment.

      • vikinghou says:

        I will amend my comment above by pointing out that oil and gas companies are engaged in the development of biofuels and, to some extent, geothermal. Despite some early forays into solar and wind a few decades ago, fossil fuel companies’ involvement is practically zero today.

      • 1mime says:

        Further, the downward spiral in the energy sector is giving us plenty of time to: (1) know what’s coming; and (2) begin to plan for all the workers who will be displaced. This offers a textbook opportunity to implement alternatives, retraining, and re-education. If only, anyone in a position to do such things was interested. Instead, we will see more people left behind, the wealth divide grow larger, and further exacerbation of tension between classes.

        To the extent that we can do something constructive to prepare for this transition, we should be. Are we? It doesn’t appear there is anything on the radar.

      • 1mime says:

        Announced today: Chevron is cutting 4000 jobs on top of the 3000 jobs it cut earlier. The handwriting is on the wall. Surely, a vigilant nation would be preparing for this? Surely!

        http://fuelfix.com/blog/2016/04/07/chevron-cutting-655-houston-jobs-amid-oil-bust/?utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=breaking_news&utm_campaign=wcm_fe81444eddecd30c197b5419d2bb62f8

      • vikinghou says:

        Many former oil and gas workers (some of whom were colleagues of mine), at least on the technical side, have already begun working in the renewables realm. Their science and engineering skills are equally valuable in their new industry. As I have written before, I wouldn’t choose petroleum engineering as a major if I was a student today.

        I still attend technical conferences sponsored by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute. I must say that, as a group, we are getting pretty long in the tooth. Youngsters aren’t coming our way like they used to.

  13. stephen says:

    I was raised Roman Catholic. Have relatives that are still practising Catholics. I do not see why they would want Cruz or Trump. Catholics have a strong social conscience which would reject either of these guys. I cannot understand how Paul Ryan could say he was a Catholic and idolize Ayn Rand with a straight face. I do not know what I reject the most about the current GOP, their fiscal irresponsibility or Darwinian view of life and society. There must be another explanation for why Wisconsin went towards Cruz.

    • flypusher says:

      There’s a lot of rationalization going on. Trump looks strong and Trump voices their frustration in raw, unedited words.

      My first impression of Trump, back many years ago, was that he was a bully and a jerk. I was 100% correct on that one. I loathe bullies.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        For me, he seems kind of ersatz, not masculine, not feminine, as typically perceived.

        I saw him do that little pointy finger thing when someone was fired and I wondered what the hell is that.

      • Creigh says:

        Trump is a bully and a jerk, and his policy prescriptions are absurd. But he does validate people’s feelings of being left behind by the modern economy and changes to society.

    • 1mime says:

      I think that what we saw in WI is the GOPe machine in high gear for the first time. Normally, this would be saved for the actual GOP/Dem face-off, but they are desperately, methodically gearing up to get Trump out of the race and WI was where it all had to start. After all, they, like all of us, have watched this debacle with wide eyes and disbelief. The GOPe finally had enough as time was about to run out to stop Trump’s accrual of 1237 delegates. This state marked the turn around.

      • One wonders. NY and PA will tell the tale.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        There are a lot of words to describe Republicans’ response to Trump, but “methodical” ain’t one of ’em.

        Even if Trump is denied the nomination, any Republican who would celebrate that as a victory and think this battle over is a fool. Once again, they’d be putting short-term gain at the expense of long-term pain, only this time it would be on the cusp of a generational revolution that threatens the party with political extinction.

      • 1mime says:

        Methodical in the sense that the GOPe is using all the “standard” tactics (showcasing well known Republicans – Romney, calling on donors, working the back room of governors, newspaper editors, tv journalists). Personally, I think it is working but it may be too late.

  14. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I have been so wrong with every prediction thus far and also wrong with every pronouncement that I’ll stop making predictions, but the last couple of weeks feels like things are changing for Trump.

    I don’t think there is any single thing that has done it. He’s had a lot of negative stories over the last few weeks. No one of those stories is any worse than the negative stories from a few months ago, but the onslaught of them feels different, and his poll numbers, which really were the only positive stories he had, are taking a hit in a string of states.

    Plus, the reduction of candidates and coalescence into an anyone-but-Trump GOP strategy might now be turning the tide.

    All this could flip back to Trump-as-usual if he wins big in a couple of big states this month, but the polling numbers indicate he is losing some of those big leads. He may still win NY and PA (though I can see PA slipping away from him), but it won’t be by the huge numbers originally thought.

    As nutty as this race has been, Trump almost never over-performs his polling numbers, and his primary percentages are consistently in the 30s. He simply hasn’t picked up support as other candidates have dropped out (maybe because he was brutal to those candidates and their supporters actively don’t like Trump).

    Prediction (likely wrong) #209 for the GOP primary: Trump limps to the finish line with only a few more wins here and there but having completely lost the momentum to Cruz by the end. Trump ends up with the most delegates but clearly less energy.

    Prediction (likely right) #210 for the GOP primary: I have no clue what results from a crazy convention.

    Prediction (likely wrong but I can’t help myself) #211 for the GOP primary: Trumps late season disappointments sap the energy from his supporters and thus Trump, and there is no independent run for Trump and relatively little fight left in his supporters’ tanks so they fall in line with the GOP.

    Ominous warning #1,132: Fear Cruz in the general election. His politics may technically be out of step with most of the rest of the country, and Cruz is less likely to change his positions to cater to the center, but the man is smart and has shown to have a good ground game and an ability to run an oddly effective national campaign.

    Hillary is still the most hated political figure since Nixon (and I would bet typical GOP voters would favor Nixon over Hillary), and those negatives give her a ceiling in support.

    One good scandal, a terrorist attack or two, or an economic bubble bursting in the early fall pushes this election (along with a dozen other factors) towards the GOP.

    I understand Lifer’s position that it is hard to picture Cruz flipping a lot of states that Obama won, but Hillary is a once-in-a-lifetime disliked candidate, and the only thing worse than a Hillary candidacy would be Bernie.

    I’d sleep better facing a Hillary-Trump general election than facing a Hillary-Cruz general election, not because I think Hillary would have an easier time beating Trump, but because the thought of President Cruz is too scary to entertain.

    I still think I would take a 45% chance of a Trump presidency over a 10% chance of a Cruz presidency (and Cruz would have much more than a 10% shot against Hillary).

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      From the mouth of a Wisconsin GOP representative when asked how Cruz could win Wisconsin in the general election when it hasn’t voted for the GOP since Reagan:

      Glenn Grothman (R), — who represents a district just northwest of Milwaukee—was asked by a reporter how a GOP presidential candidate such as Cruz could win the state for the first time since Ronald Reagan in 1984:

      “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is just about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up, and now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”

      There ya go, Hillary herself and completely unsubtle attempts to suppress the vote = GOP election goldmines.

      • objv says:

        … “and completely unsubtle attempts to suppress the vote = GOP election goldmines”

        Thanks for the explanation, Homer. That darn voter suppression probably kept minority voters home in droves. Since minorities make up such an enormous part of Wisconsin’s electorate (6.6% of the population is black and 6.5% is Hispanic), the GOP’s treacherous attempt at voter suppression proved to be even more heinous and despicable, and of course, undoubtedly swayed the election results.

        Voter suppression also explains why the unsuppressed white Republicans voted for a man with a common Anglo name like Cruz.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I was just quoting the good gentleman representative from the great state of Wisconsin.

        I’m curious, if it is not voter suppression, what do you think he might be talking about that would help them win Wisconsin? Surely, even you do not believe that widespread voter fraud is the issue.

      • objv says:

        Homer, I’m even more curious as to why a reference to voter ID is immediately equated to voter suppression in your mind.

        I don’t know much about Wisconsin politics or if voter fraud has ever been a problem there, but many elections have been won or lost by a matter of a few votes. I, personally, think voter ID is a good thing.

        A lot of people don’t load anti-virus software onto their computer thinking they’ll be fine just because they’ve never been hacked. Democrats use the same logic when it comes to voter ID or checking immigration status. They think that if it has not been much of a problem in the past, it will never be a problem in the future. In both cases, by the time the problem has been realized, the damage is done.

        I’m not sure what the district representative meant either, but considering that the population of Wisconsin is whitey, white, I doubt suppressing the minority vote was his intent.

    • flypusher says:

      No offense Homer, because you do often have some very insightful observations, but I really hope you’re in a losing streak here.

    • johngalt says:

      It’s worth keeping in mind that Nixon won.

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s something positive to be grateful for….if the Dems win. Because – if the Repubs win – anything that was developed as a transition plan for a new administration, will go the way of dung. Never the less, read on:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/04/06/after-the-mud-wrestling-candidates-must-prepare-to-govern/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_fed

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      >] “Ominous warning #1,132: Fear Cruz in the general election. His politics may technically be out of step with most of the rest of the country, and Cruz is less likely to change his positions to cater to the center, but the man is smart and has shown to have a good ground game and an ability to run an oddly effective national campaign.”

      Take that presumption with a grain of salt. Up until now, the man (and I use that word lightly, mind you), has never been tried in a national campaign. His only real race was for Senate in deep-red Texas back in 2012, and the only competition he faced there was against another Republican in a primary with a very, very small electorate.

      Has he ever had to campaign to a general electorate that he wasn’t virtually guaranteed to win? No.

      Furthermore, there is a not a single state that President Obama won in 2012 that Cruz would have even a prayer of flipping. He is a raging ideologue that scares people and would get absolutely slaughtered in a general election.

      • 1mime says:

        Winning WI was significant for Cruz in that he faced a more diverse electorate (from a religious basis). Of course, as I posited earlier, this is the first election that the GOPe really pulled out all stops to attack Trump, and support Cruz. That made a difference in the size of Cruz’ win.

  15. MassDem says:

    So the Republican electorate is to be poisoned by Mr. Cruz in the library rather than shot by Mr. Trump in the hall. I guess that’s progress.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      I think it’s preferable. We need Cruz to lose big (which he almost certainly will) in order for the GOP to realize they’re actually too conservative to be successful nationally, and not the other way around (not Conservative enough).

      A Trump win (and subsequent general loss) just kicks the can down the road another few years. The process to fix the rot in the GOP needs to start now, rather then 4 years from now.

      Seems to me that the GOP can be competitive again in 2024, possibly 2020 (if HRC does really poorly for some reason) if they start reforming now. They even have the perfect reformer just waiting in the wings in Paul Ryan. That guys going to be a pretty attractive candidate in a general so long as the party comes back to a more acceptable center right platform.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Man, I wish I had Rob’s optimism regarding the ease of a Hillary win.

      • antimule says:

        > They even have the perfect reformer just waiting in the wings in Paul Ryan. That guys going to be a pretty attractive candidate in a general so long as the party comes back to a more acceptable center right platform.

        But Paul Ryan is peddling practically the same economic snake oil. I don’t see what exactly is he reforming. Having Trump and then Cruz would at lest keep republicans out of power longer.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Homer, I guess never say never.

        But that said, I just don’t see it. Trump would start the race with thebhigest unfavorables in history. Hes over 70 for women, blacks AND Hispanics. Something like 30% of GOP PRIMARY voters say they’d never vote for him. That’s not a formula for success.

        Not to mention, his entire campaign is bult on the myth that he’s a winner. When he starts to lose consistently (which may have started already) his fragile psyche won’t know how to handle it and he’s going to behave in increasingly bizarre ways. See the statement he put out last night for example: Calling Cruz a “Trojan horse” sent to “steal” the election from him. For the unforgivable sin of beating him in a primary.

        And Cruz is just a wacko. I heard him say the other day that a raped woman should have the baby because, well, its not the child’s fault. And he wants to legislate that into law. That’s going to be bad. Only 18% believe abortion should NEVWR be legal. Its a safe bet that of the other 82%, “rape” is one of the situations in which it is permissable for the vast majority of them.

        In his speech last night, he proclaimed he was going to “abolish the IRS!”. I don’t know what focus group told him this was a winner, but of all the populist/economic fear pervading the current electorate, is there ANY of these people who think that the cause of their problems is they just pay too much income tax? Thats an absurd reading of the electorate.

        There is NOBODY outside the 1% who wants to cut taxes on the 1%. There are very few ppl who want abortion totally illegal. There is a strong majority who is happy we have marriage equality. And then there’s that whole “physically repulsive” thing.

        Contrast that with HRC where 100% of her unfavorables are personality based. Which one of her policies has broad disapproval anywhere near the ones that make up the bulk of Cruz’s platform?

        I just don’t envision a realistic scenario where they can win.

      • 1mime says:

        Cruz is not the only conservative who believes a raped woman should bear the child if a pregnancy results. But, as President, this aberration could become law of the land, if not a total repeal of Roe v Wade. As well intentioned as I know Homer to be regarding finding common agreement on the issue of abortion, this comment reflects the deeper sentiment of a fringe that has been wagging the dog for a very long time. If the “tail” is elected PResident, you can be sure we won’t be talking about finding common ground, we will be watching the full repeal of Roe/Wade. There is no reasoning with these people.

      • MassDem says:

        More optimism, although the writer is a Dem so maybe a little on the rosy side.

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-odds-rise-of-a-democratic-victory-1459899930

      • 1mime says:

        Access to the WSJ is blocked for non-subscribers, MassDem. If there were salient points, possibly you could copy & paste for those of us who do not subscribe to this paper (any more…since their sale, commentary has gone the way of the new owner – Rupert Murdoch, (Fox News, etc). What a shame for a formerly fine, non-partisan business journal.

      • MassDem says:

        I don’t subscribe to WSJ either. If I want to look at a WSJ article, I have had luck by clearing cookies & history from my browser, then searching for the title of the article, and using the link that comes up. I end up behind the paywall for that particular article. Since I shouldn’t lead anyone into a life of crime, I’ll summarize the article’s main points instead:

        Although demographic trends favor Democrats, it won’t be enough to give them the victory in the general election since it is rare for a party with a two-term President to stay in power. What will really help Dems is the increase in Barack Obama’s approval rating, especially if it nudges up to 50%, continuing improvement in the economy, especially further job growth, the 6 point edge in party affiliation enjoyed by Democrats, and the potential for mayhem for Republicans if Trump is the nominee or if there is a contested convention. It ends with this:

        “It is too soon for Hillary Clinton, a candidate with vulnerabilities of her own, to start measuring the drapes for the Oval Office. But Republicans who fear massive Senate and House losses as well as another term for a Democratic president are not exaggerating the risks they face.”

        Here’s a link for the presidential approval data:
        http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/obamas-approval-rating-and-the-outlook-for-the-2016-presidential-election/

      • Always fun to observe the definition of “optimism” on a supposedly Republican blog…

        Anyway, if history’s lesson is worth anything, while low oil prices hurt in the oil patch, they generally do wonders for the rest of the economy.

      • 1mime says:

        *If only* things worked out the way we want them to, right? As abysmal as some outcomes predict, somehow America survives. I try to take comfort in that while not getting complacent in my expectations. I’ll have to check to see if there are any “supposedly” Democratic blogs peopled with conservatives…….just for balance….

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