How Clinton Could Win Texas

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.57.52 PM(And Why It Isn’t Good News for Democrats)

Those who predicted a close election in 2016 are starting to retreat. It’s early to get reliable polling, but even at this stage you can draw some conclusions from large or anomalous numbers. All the large numbers are pointing in Clinton’s direction.

Though margins will certainly oscillate over the course of the fall, this isn’t going to get close. When a candidate is this bad the dynamics of the race change in some strange ways. There’s a solid chance that Clinton might even win Texas.

Should this happen, Democrats will be tempted to paint that outcome as a mandate or a trend. That would be a mistake.

The factors that could flip Texas have nothing to do with Clinton’s appeal or any softening of the state’s political bent. Here’s why Clinton might take the state in November and why Democrats should see it as a warning rather than a triumph.

Trump is the most unpopular major party nominee in modern history.

Trump won barely 44% of the vote in the GOP primaries. Since the modern primary system took shape, no major party nominee has won with a lower vote share. After a disastrous convention, Republicans are fleeing from their embarrassing nominee. Even Goldwater, who was a famously contentious candidate, did not spark the kind of rush for the exits we are seeing in 2016. Trump has inspired an unprecedented degree of animosity from within his own party.

Trump is particularly unpopular among Texas Republicans.

Barely a quarter of Texas Republicans supported Trump in the primary. Open resistance from the Bush family and Ted Cruz has created powerful cover for Republican dissenters in the state. Sinclair Lewis once said that Fascism will come to America wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. Trump has struggled with Texas conservatives who would prefer a slightly smaller flag and an enormously larger cross. Trump is simply the wrong kind of bigot for Texas. Only in Utah is Trump more unpopular with hard-core conservatives.

Libertarians have fielded an unusually credible ticket.

Republicans in Texas have the option of rejecting Trump by voting for another ticket packed with Republicans. Libertarians nominated experienced, sane, popular Republican former-Governors for President and Vice President. That Libertarian ticket should attract double-digit support in Texas.

Trump’s rhetoric has sparked record enthusiasm from Hispanic voters.

Texas is very nearly a majority-minority state. Despite demographic challenges, Republicans have dominated elections there in part because the state consistently ranks near the bottom in voter turnout. Hispanic voters in Texas are among the least engaged Hispanic voters in the country. Trump offers Democrats a golden opportunity to organize a community that has been alienated from politics. If eligible, registered, Texas Hispanics voted at a rate in line with Hispanics elsewhere in the country, Democrats would gain an extra 4-5% of the vote in 2016.

Futility undermines party discipline.

Previous Republican nominees might fail to earn enthusiasm from some portion of the party’s base, but in a close race voters consolidate their support by November. For years we’ve heard mythical tales of the voters turned off by the failure of the party to appeal to their pet concerns. Now we’re going to see what that would look like if it actually happened.

This is not a close race. Republican voters frustrated with their choices will have nothing to gain by lining up behind their miserable candidate in November. With no chance to influence the outcome by voting for Trump, they may use their vote (or their non-vote) to express their disgust. In Texas, the factors cited above will likely be enough to create a sizable dissent-vote for the Libertarians, a large chunk of Republican non-votes, and impressive activism from Democrats.

If Clinton flips Texas expect to see a lot of ink spilled describing the implications of this landmark Democratic mandate. Ignore it all. Clinton will not win Texas by becoming the first choice of Texas voters. It is highly unlikely that she would earn more than 45-47% of the vote there even in a victory. A Democratic win in Texas would be a statement about the Republican Party, not the Democrats.

A landslide so large as to turn Texas blue in this election indicates the collapse of the Republican Party’s national relevance. As Trump’s supporters convert the GOP into a white nationalist institution, the Presidency loses its importance. A white nationalist party can only be a regional, not a national force. Absent a fundamental reconstruction of the party, future Republican nominees, just like our nominee this year, will carry all the gravitas and relevance of the Green or Libertarian candidates.

This is not good news for Democrats, but rather a destabilizing event for our entire political system. We can no more sustain a single-party system than a three or four party system.

Democrats are no more popular than they were ten or twenty years ago. A Blue Texas is a not a victory for Democrats, but rather a warning that the foundations of our political system are cracking.

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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Posted in Election 2016, Texas, Uncategorized
112 comments on “How Clinton Could Win Texas
  1. indy says:

    It’s not so much Texas, but Virginia and North Carolina that seem to be turning ahead of schedule. That’s a big problem for the GOP.

  2. flypusher says:

    Your daily Poe’s Law quiz.

    Really good actors? Or really stupid people? The lady in the Cleveland Indians shirt creeps me out!

  3. Anse says:

    Forgive this Texas Democrat for feeling heartened by this bizarre turn of events; Texas is not about to become California, no, but we’ll take anything we can get at this point, and if nothing else, we might finally get a clear picture of Latino voting power in the state.

    One thing that I think about: everybody notes how the GOP still holds a tight grip on state legislatures and governors’ offices, so it’s ridiculous to spell the demise of the party any time soon. And I agree with that. But look at how many city governments are run by Democrats. Are there any major cities that are dominated by Republicans? I’m sure there are some, but even in Texas, the cities are leaning heavily to the Left.

    The GOP may find itself getting squeezed from the federal level and the municipalities within their states. Isn’t that an interesting situation? I don’t think Democrats should feel ashamed about celebrating a win by Clinton. We’ve got plenty of reason to be optimistic.

    • vikinghou says:

      The conflict between more liberal municipalities and conservative state legislatures has already been playing out. Examples:

      Indiana — After an outcry from business leaders and urban citizens, Mike Pence had to water down a “religious freedom” law that negated Indianapolis’ anti-discrimination ordinance.

      Texas — The state legislature passed a law prohibiting local municipalities from passing ordinances banning fracking.

      North Carolina — LBGT anti-discrimination redux in Charlotte.

      To the GOP, local governance is only good when it aligns with their political and social positions.

      • Anse says:

        Yes, but I believe some have argued that the dividing line for federalists really ought to be Feds: Cities instead of Feds: States. The cities are the economic engines of the states. I’m thinking if this continues, with Republicans struggling to get a president elected and the cities continuing to be aligned with Democrats, there could be some changes afoot.

      • 1mime says:

        And, if those changes occur? That is democracy as it should be. Fight for votes; earn them the old fashioned way. Demonstrate you can govern. We are looking right now at a GOP that is supporting a nominee who they clearly know can’t govern responsibly if at all, yet, they continue to support him. I don’t look for the light to go on upstairs in GOP headquarters anytime soon. They are still hanging on to the life raft even though it’s got a YUge hole in it. I don’t have any pity for the party who is not learning from its mistakes and which is absolutely content to govern while hurting ordinary Americans through racism, inequality, religious extremism, economic favoritism – all the while knowing it benefits a small sector of our nation. It’s wrong and it will crash – the question is – how much damage is done before that happens.

      • 1mime says:

        “To the GOP, local governance is only good when it aligns with their political and social positions.”

        AMEN! And when it doesn’t align with their interests? Why, it’s “TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT IN OUR LIVES”!!!

    • 1mime says:

      Great point, Anse, to which I add: Mayors of mega cities (Houston, NYC, L.A., etc) have to really, really know how to run things or it all goes to S*it in a hurry. Democrats’ record in this regard is mixed but cities have big problems to deal with…We need to get more big city mayors to run for Senate seats….Senator Anise Parker, anyone? She’d be an interesting match up with Cornyn…What Dems have failed to do, IMO, is the grassroots candidate building necessary to introduce new and younger players into national politics. The GOP has done a terrific job in this regard which is why they hold so many gubernatorial seats and state legislatives. Sometimes you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just learn and apply from those who are doing it well.

      Also, don’t neglect to factor in that big cities are heavily Democrat in predominently red states because they are gerrymandered to be so. Repubs do not want heterogeneous districts, they want solid protected districts, and they have accomplished this goal in states across the US.

      Another observation is to direct your attention to the Evonomics link I posted somewhere in this thread about why it is that under Dem leadership, GDP is much – much – stronger over time than Repubs. Dems, for all their failings, spend money on things that improve lives, and when you improve lives of more than the top 10%, the economy benefits.

      End rant (-;

  4. Morning Joe today talking about Republicans talking in a bubble! Joe of all people saying that Republicans only listen to themselves! Here is an article on Vox saying the same thing but with a more open mind! The reality is there are people who have made millions if not billions off of this Republican isolation from reality. The Military Complex that Eisenhower warned of for example. Bombs not dropped do not a fortune make. But dropping bombs are a gift that keeps giving to the bomb manufacturers!

  5. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    It will be interesting to see how the Republican Party rebuilds its image among certain voters after visuals like this have been bouncing around the internet…

  6. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Election 2016: A tale of ideological schisms, blue blood pundits, vulgarians, a human wreaking ball and the fatherly sugar daddy who took care of them all.

    “Wolff: Murdoch media split over Trump”

    “Conservative media, over the years extraordinarily consistent in its support for the main goals of the conservative cause, indeed driving those goals, is now in an open war with itself over Donald Trump.”

    “Bret Stephens, a columnist at the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, hardly pauses in his attacks on his Murdoch colleague, Sean Hannity, the Trump devotee and one of the ratings kings at Murdoch-owned Fox News, for hucksterism and ignorance.”

    “Bill Kristol, editor of the once-Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard and a pillar of neo-conservative thought, joined by John Podhoretz, a columnist at the Trump-supporting and Murdoch-owned New York Post and editor of Commentary, a neocon journal, have broken with any other conservatives who support Trump. In this break, they clearly define a line that had always been blurred, between establishment conservative media and wing-nut conservative media represented by the likes of, in addition to the Post itself, Breitbart, Drudge and Rush Limbaugh.”

    “In some sense, the larger question is how has conservative media — that strange alliance of the Washington-focused free-market establishment and the ever-more powerful barroom voices of shock-jocks, Fox, the Tea Party and right-wing bloggers — stayed together for so long. That answer probably has to do with the ecosystem of conservative success and all boats rising as one. No matter how temperamentally at odds, everybody fed from the same trough.”

    “That trough was largely Murdoch. Almost every element of conservative media was owned by or had deep relationships with the Murdoch organization. Arguably, it was, paying the bills, Murdoch himself, in his heart both an establishment conservative figure and, too, an outsider renegade, who held it together. Or at least tolerated so many strange bedfellows. And certainly looked askance at intra-empire warfare or, even, insults.”

    “But then there was Trump.”

    My take on all this is I don’t how much more I can of this massive public food fight between pasty skinned blonds, brunettes, gingers and grey beards arguing over which one is better at fellating the memory of Dead Saint Reagan.

    I am guessing right now in the luxurious hidden room of Fox’s News new superstar consultant, this man pictured below is alone in the dark, pleasuring himself while clutching his new necklace of white pearls… paid for by his 40 million dollar golden parachute.

  7. RobA says:

    Sleazy Paul Manaforts, accepting briefcases full of money embezzled from a kleptocracy.

    Not only is this incredibly unseemly, it very well could be illegal once the IRS looks into it. One thing that’s for sure, print media has really shown it’s value this cycle. Probably the “boringness” of the medium means they don’t need to resort to entertainment to get an audience and can focus on actual journalism.

    • 1mime says:

      Pissing off half the major news outlets has its downside. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Manafort declared the income from his Ukraine relationship. Good for the NYT. I think Politico and WaPo are also doing a great job. Man, it’s late but welcome.

      • RobA says:

        Something tells me, Mime, that the IRS is going to be really interested in this story.

        I thought Manafort was a smart operator? Surely he would’ve known the scrutiny a campaign manager would be under? Why would he accept the job if he has those kinds of skeletons (allegedly) in his closet?

        That’s some pretty shady stuff. $12.7 million in CASH? From a corrupt kleptocracy that has/had direct ties to Putin?


      • 1mime says:

        Let us hope, Rob. That’s how it’s “supposed” to work.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      He’s probably working for Russia. He weakened the GOP platform’s stance on Ukraine and Russia. One of his oligarch friends is facing extradition.

  8. Shiro17 says:

    A very interesting take on the establishment v. tea party civil war.

    • 1mime says:

      I’ll say it was interesting. It reinforces every suspicion most ordinary Americans have about donations, whether to non-profit charities or political fundraising – only, this time we learn how it’s done AND who profits. Our worst fears are confirmed.

      You may recall that I have urged those who want to help to do the little things: canvassing, yard signs,mailers, coffees, etc. It’s more rewarding to spend your time and resources where you can see a more definitive results and actually help the person you are trying to help get elected. It’s a lot more assured of helping that individual than hoping your PAC donation filters down to them. Our political process has become a giant jobs/profit center. Aren’t you tired of that?

    • RobA says:

      Wow. This is honestly the first time I see how deep the rot is in the conerservative movement.

      What jumped out at me was that it was the IRS that put a stop to a lot of this scam (that’s literally all it was). All that garbage you hear about “The IRS is targeting groups because they’re conservative” is because the IRS WAS targeting those groups. But not because they’re “conservative”. They basically are apolitical. They targeted them because they were preying on older, unsophisticated ppl who had been filed up by right wing media. Basically, they were easy marks.

      But of course when the IRS started getting involved, the right wing media explodes, and conjures up enough outrage that TO THIS DAY, the GOP might impeach the head ofntbe IRS. Which is truly incredible. Go recap:

      The IRS knew that millions of these folks were being preyed upon, and when they moved to shut them down, the scammers convinced the victims that their defenders were actually their attackers, and the victims turn on their defenders.

      To try to understand how truly bizarre this is, think of how this would play out in an interaction between three humans, instead of these groups: an older lady (Tea Party) is walking down the street when a mugger (super PAC’s) begins to rob her. When a good Samaritan (the IRS) notices the robbery , he calls the cops. By the time the cops have shown up, the robber has convinced the mugging victim that in fact the SAMARATIN is the one who actually robbed her after all. The police arrest the good Samaritan, and the elderly lady accepts the muggers offer to help carry her things into her house for her.

      Nothing but a scam from start to finish.

    • Shiro17 says:

      PACs are just like any other kind of organization that is based on monetary donations, except that since they are relatively new, there is little public awareness or knowledge about their operations and business structure, which makes them a haven for fraudsters. There are many groups and websites that follow charities and document the amount that they actually spend on their missions, but to my knowledge, there are no such organizations following PACs (though I know many that document the existence of PACs and who their backers are).

      The IRS is the main agency in charge of making sure that charities and other 501(c) nonprofit organizations actually are built for the purposes that warrant the tax-exempt status in the first place and are not just shells for other purposes, either as an outright scam or some sort of money-laundering scheme. It makes sense that they’re the ones trying to keep the PACs in check.

      • 1mime says:

        Citizens United has made it that much more difficult to track donors. It actually allows anonymity. That has to be one of the most partisan, worst attacks on democracy ever perpetrated by a SC. It must be amended until it is neutered. It cannot continue to stand.

    • antimule says:

      It is ironic that Citizens United in retrospect did more to hurt conservative cause than almost anything else. There’s limit to what the money can buy if your ideas suck and are championed by frauds.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree that Citizens United is a horrible ruling, but I don’t agree that it hasn’t helped the Republican Party. The anonymity it offers to major donors is a huge benefit to the party and to the donors. Analysis since its implementation has shown a sizable increase in donations, particularly to the Republican Party. I want less money in campaigns, not incentives to increase it which is exactly what C.U. achieves.

  9. 1mime says:

    It will be interesting to get the “back story” on IL Governor Rauner’s veto of voter registration legislation he showed support for in May. Per the article, there is sufficient support for this mandatory legislation that the state legislature should be able to over ride the governor’s veto.

    • 1mime says:

      When there is a “vacuum” of leadership at the federal level on legislation that makes sense to the American people, it appears that states are stepping up. On issues as contentiously opposed as expanded background checks for gun purchases, putting the vote to the people may be the only avenue left to work around the NRA choke-hold on Republicans in Congress.

      FL Governor Scott is finding himself in a similar predicament with ZIKA funding. Absent Congress’ action, the state is having to dip into its revenues to combat the problem…spraying, water treatment, etc. to the tune of over $26M. Hmm, maybe this is a new GOP tactic: delay, delay, delay, until someone else foots the bill.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        delay, delay, delay, until someone else foots the bill

        That’s so Republican >:-(

      • RobA says:

        Typical Republican Mime. The federal government should stay out of the States business and has no mandate to bail out States!!!! (Except when it’s my state that needs help)

      • 1mime says:

        America is a huge nation. Balanced budgets simply don’t work in real life. Extraordinary events outside the control or ability of a state or city occur and we as a nation need to help one another. It’s desirable and important to be fiscally prudent, but when disaster occurs, a great country and wise leaders understand this and balance economic necessity with compassion.

  10. johngalt says:

    Chris – you’ll probably sympathize with this comment from P.J. O’Rourke: “I am endorsing Hillary, and all her lies and all her empty promises. It’s the second-worst thing that can happen to this country, but she’s way behind in second place. She’s wrong about absolutely everything but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

  11. flypusher says:

    I hope that HRC and the Dems realize that “lesser of 2 evils” does not equal “overwhelming mandate”, even if she crushes Trump hard enough to flip TX. She’s smart enough to grok this, but she and Bill have some pretty big blind spots about things that may be technically legal but make for bad, bad optics. She will have to decide what’s the big issue to tackle- is it immigration reform?

    Nevertheless I would love to see TX flip for the sole reason that it would deliver an overwhelming, decisive electoral rebuke to the obnoxious bigots who feel empowered by Trump. I don’t think it will cause them to rethink their ways, but it will demonstrate that they are a minority. It will also speak well for our country, that we don’t want to go down that road of fear and hate. It will be just desserts to people like Ryan, and McCconnell, and McCain, regardless of whether they keep their offices or not (yes, I know McConnell is safe this year), because their political cowardice will be the albatross around their necks that they can never remove.

    • 1mime says:

      I wish I felt that lessons were being learned by Republicans, but I just don’t see it happening. Look at what is happening with ZIKA funding. Republicans *deliberately* inserted poison pills into the funding legislation to put Democrats in a bad spot (esp. Obama), AND, to demonstrate their power….over a problem that causes birth defects? That is already active in the United States? That Pres. Obama and scientists have been warning that action needed to begin in February to prepare, research and blunt the impact of this advancing threat? It’s like knowing a cat 5 hurricane is barreling your way – all weather scientists and satellite imagery affirm and you *choose* to play games?

      Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn is quoted in the Chronicle as saying:

      ” Texas Republican John Cornyn, the Senate majority whip and one of the GOP’s leaders in the Zika debate, repeatedly has dismissed Democratic concerns over the Confederate flag and Planned Parenthood as distractions.
      “They blocked it for fanciful and imagined reasons,” Cornyn said in a Senate floor speech after the Democratic filibuster doomed the Zika funding bill — at least until Congress returns after Labor Day.
      Cornyn, speaking next to a placard showing a Zika victim with a distorted head, accused the Democrats of being “sore losers” for objecting to a final House-Senate compromise largely negotiated by Republicans. “There is no mention of Planned Parenthood in this conference report,” he said, referring to the final Zika bill. “I would challenge anybody to find Planned Parenthood even once.”

      Beyond the political ploys of inserting PP and the confederate flat language into the bill, just as important is what the bill does to the Clean Water Act.

      And this is how Republicans govern.

      • flypusher says:

        Poison pills need to join the Hastert rule in the toxic waste dump of history.

      • 1mime says:

        You just don’t play around with health issues for political gain. Is there no floor beneath the ugly politics that Republicans are delivering? No lengths to which they will not go to score a political victory or embarrassment? No appeal to common decency for the good of ALL the people of America?

        All of us can contact via email (go to websites of your members of Congress) and comment on this and other issues of importance to you, but follow up with a call to their offices – local, state, and federal – take your pick. It matters. Numbers are the only aggregate that mean anything to these people. Let them hear from you, because if they don’t, they will “assume” all is good. Not.

      • RobA says:

        The GOP controls Congress. Rightly or wrongly, they’re the ones who will be blamed.

    • 1mime says:

      McConnell and Ryan may be safe “this” year, 2016, but if there is a popular mandate, both men may lose their positions.

  12. RobA says:

    Interesting look behind the scenes of a campaign in disarray, and a candidate who is so plainly unfit, it’s shocking and terrifying he got his far.

    The words “confused” “scared” “frustrated” and “bewildered” are not what you want insiders to describe a potential POTUS as.

    The man has such poor character, he probably isn’t fit to babysit your toddler, let alone become leader of the free world. His moods and behaviors read more like a 5 y/o then a leader, like the part where he’s become whiny and skulky about his low poll numbers, complaining to everyone that “see? I TOLD you I shouldn’t have changed from the primary! Now look at my poll numbers”.

    Anybody with kids recognizes that childish retort of ” YOU MADE ME DO IT AND NOW ITS MESSED UP!!”. The difference is, children don’t know better. Adults should.

    Has this buffoon ever taken ANY responsibility for anything? Is everything bad always the fault of someone else? My 7 y/o better leadership skills. I mean that without hyperbole. At least when I ask him if he got into the cookies or if he used a bad word, he says yes and apologizes.

    • 1mime says:

      Your seven year old has a good daddy, Rob. A daddy that taught him right from wrong and to be honest. We don’t know that about T’s background except that his uber wealthy father was a hard man…not making excuses for him – they could have at least obtained the services of a kind nanny (-; T undoubtedly never had the parental or other guidance; instead, I suspect he was always the golden man-child who always got his way. Little bullies often grow up to be big bullies…

    • 1mime says:

      I just read a NYT article about Donald Trump’s father, Fred. While I have no sympathy for anyone who fails to acquire a sense of empathy for others, Donald didn’t have what I would call a “traditional” childhood. Personality dysfunction is at least easier to understand when viewed in some historical perspective.

  13. Fair Economist says:

    If Texas swings, I think it *will* be very significant. The reason is that Clinton’s advantage is coming from two groups: Latinos and the college-educated. Texas has both (somewhat at odd with its anti-intellectual image) and a big standing Republican advantage. Interestingly, Texas is the best-educated red state:

    For Clinton to win Texas, she’ll have to manage big swings with both groups. That *will* matter because those groups will not swing back all the way as the Republicans have been hostile to both – the Latinos directory, and and college-educated from the relentless denial of reality.

    In addition, those are both large and growing groups, so having them swing to the Democrats will have growing effects down the line. It might also shock the Republican party into sanity as there’s no national party without Texas.

    • Chris L says:

      I doubt Democrats will do little more than stir the pot in Texas. Most of the Texas Democrats are located around Austin, and maybe some a few choice places elsewhere. GOP has had a long time to gerrymander Texas into a political fortress (that they now can’t escape), and the Democrats are a lot smarter than to think it can be claimed.

      There are a lot of Republicans, former Republicans, and Soon-to-Be Republicans born and bred in that state. I’ve not seen the numbers recently, but I’m sure we’re still several generations out from seeing Texas go genuinely purple, whether it’s by Trumpism collapsing the party, or Hispanics becoming a competitive voting bloc. Texans are pridefully stubborn. Wouldn’t have them any other way.

      • RobA says:

        I don’t think you can gerrymander districts for a presidential election.

        All votes from TX count towards the TX total. They can gerrymander congressional district though.

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct. Gerrymandering is done in census years and in the rare (unfortunately) situation where there are court challenges that drag into other years until the courts resolve them…..but, in between years, if you are Republican, you pass laws suppressing the vote.

        If the Republican Party spent as much time and effort examining their party’s creed and actually demonstrating that they can govern, they wouldn’t need to play the gerrymander/voter suppression game. The GOP has become more adept at obstruction than governance. The people of America need to send them a resounding message: YOU”RE FIRED!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Chris L,

        Large Texas cities tend to be governed by Democratic mayors.

        In Houston, we’ve had council members elected while still retaining the accents of their countries of origin. In fact, ballots are printed in three languages here, including Vietnamese.

        There is more to liberalism than exists in Austin…. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        The problem with our big cities in TX is that Dems don’t vote. Remember HERO?

      • 1mime says:

        “Texans are pridefully stubborn…”

        Some might assign the descriptor as “pridefully ignorant” This well educated state “chooses” to buy the GOP message despite their “educated” masses. I have less respect for those who are educated and ignore reality and science than I do those who are not. At least they have an excuse.

        I admit that I have lost patience with these people. If it were simply a matter of political philosophy, I can accept that while disagreeing, but when it’s such basic fact-based thinking as global warming in combination with bigotry and religious extremism that hurts others, I’m not ok with that.

  14. Tom says:

    And we won’t sustain a one-party system.

    Ironically, it was exactly 200 years ago with the election of 1816, in which the Federalist Party won just 31 percent of the vote and then didn’t run a candidate in 1820 (President Monroe was effectively unopposed in that election.) But that just led to the infamous election of 1824, in which four candidates (all technically running on the Democratic-Republican ticket) split enough votes to send the election to the House of Representatives, which elected former Federalist John Quincy Adams.

    The gravity of a SMDP system will always be toward two parties, so if the Republican Party falls apart a new party will simply replace it.

    • Chris L says:

      The Libertarians are poised to grab quite a bit of ground this cycle, but there’s two things holding them back: Tribal Loyalty and Domesticated Voters.

      Right now, the nutjob fringe of the party has shown that they have enough clout to put a Banana Republic Dictator into the race for President; they are the propaganda-driven voter-drones of the party. The backbone.

      If it’s a gradual defection of Republicans to the Libertarian party, the Libertarians aren’t going to pick up the frothy-mouthed enthusiasm of the “lock her up” crowd. This will ultimately mean a protracted war of attrition with their former selves.

      The only way to avoid this is if the ‘backbone’ snaps and the party becomes wholly ungovernable. Right now, the leadership is replaying Jurassic Park and hoping the dinosaurs go back into their cages once Trump is gone and “power is restored’. The backbone is being preserved, so the party will neither collapse nor find national-level relevance among moderates ever again.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree. I see no sign of intellectual awareness or political humility among any of them. The few who have spoken out (among the elected and the leadership) are still trying to preserve a party that is deeply flawed. Just as the esteemed Sen. Collins who made the correct decision but then failed to apply her judgement for Trump to analysis of the party she serves.

        I hope Lifer does a post on this…how the GOP establishment is handling this political situation.

      • Griffin says:

        I really hope the libertarians moderate to a great (GREAT) degree so they can absorb the sane faction of the Republican Party. The whole “return to the Gold Standard” thing is not only dangerously idiotic but impossible to take seriously.

      • 1mime says:

        You do know that Libertarian candidate Johnson is also advocating elimination of social security?

      • Griffin says:

        I believe you. The libertarian parties desire to stick to these insane, fringe proposals so they could keep their, um, one percent of vote who will probably mostly vote for them anyways even if they moderate more is truly bizarre. Unless Johnson and co. are True Believers, of course.

      • If the GOP really does blow up, the Libertarians could be well positioned – ironically, precisely because they have been so (self) marginalized. For practical purposes they are just a ballot access line, so they could easily be taken over by disgruntled Republicans. In fact you could say that is already happening, what with two former GOP governors on their ticket.

        A post-takeover Libertarian Party would be all but unconstrained by prior platforms or ideology. I would picture a somewhat business oriented and socially moderate party, but it would all depend on what the ex-Republicans who moved in decided to do.

      • 1mime says:

        Another excellent blogger who writes from the Democratic point of view, warns:

        “Trump’s legacy could leave a very fertile ground for the next demagogue to mix politics and violence in a brownshirt fashion. As I said, Trump is not Hitler. But we may look back on him as Hitler’s warm-up act.”

        Trump is already preparing his rabid base that the election is rigged. If Clinton wins, how will they react? Be certain to open the links. Lots of information there.

  15. 1mime says:

    Whoever takes office in January, 2017 is going to have to deal with Syria. Now that Turkey (Erdogan) has made an agreement to join Russia (Putin) in engaging the rebels in Syria, rebels that America is supporting, the situation gets even stickier. Gen. Petraeus has an op ed in WaPo on this subject and it is worth reading. Just as in Iraq, once ISIL is removed from Syria, there still is the thorny problem of how to get all the disparate elements who have an interest in that theater to work together and come up with a government that can function. Can you envision a DJ Trump in the situation room making decisions relating to this issue?

  16. antimule says:

    What if the Democrat party splits in two?

    • Welcome to the rise of parliamentary-esque politics in America.

    • 1mime says:

      I don’t see that happening any time soon, antimule. Anyone else see it differently? I believe the Dems showed this year that they could come together for common purpose. The outliers, the Bernistas might become the yang to the Tea Party group but with Bernie’s commitment and guidance, I think the movement will always be grounded in more reality and love of country than the Tea Party is.

      • I’d hold off on betting all your chips on “Bernie’s guidance”, mime. Democrats are essentially united now in the face of a common enemy, but let’s not understate the problem that the party would’ve faced if Repubs had nominated a more moderate candidate, like Jeb! Clinton recognizes that fact more than anyone and it’s why she’s betting the farm on getting as much conceivably done as she can in her first term to appease the Sandernistas as much as she can and avoid a significant primary in 2020.

        If Republicans obstruct her every step of the way and we’re not much better off four years from now, slap on your hard hats and start digging trenches.

      • 1mime says:

        And those trenches, Ryan, who’re we gonna put in them (-;

      • 1mime says:

        Practically, Clinton will only have 2 years to get things done. The mid terms in ’18 are awful in the Senate for Dems – 23 seats up to Repubs 5 (or something close to those #s..) I would hope that some of O’s vetted candidates would be acceptable to C so that that process could be jump-started – for SCOTUS (Garland?) and all the lower court vacancies that exist all over the U.S. But, unless Dems pick up a ton of House seats, I don’t see how she will get much done that is controversial (which with Republicans doesn’t take much) and her major planks are pretty progressive. I don’t look for her to get free community college, or a even a $12/hr minimum wage increase, but where she could get some movement is with her student college debt plan, a more modest minimum wage increase, infrastructure repair and expansion (think jobs), early childhood program expansion, tweaks to ACA, some rendition of the TPP. Don’t see how she’d get tax reform but she might make headway on immigration reform. Biggest thing from my perspective is that she knows more about how government functions than O did when he came in hoping Repubs would work with him. She did make some friends across the aisle when she was a senator and maybe that’ll help. I don’t see her surviving for 2 terms politically or otherwise. I do think if she wins that she will surprise a lot of people who are expecting her to be so bad that they have failed to grasp that she is one smart, competent woman.

    • Tom says:

      “Democrat” party? Classy.

      Anyway, it won’t happen. The discontented people are exceptionally loud but a small minority, and calling them “Democrats” might even be a stretch — most of them are Naderites who are always discontent with the Democratic Party. The rest are just Hillary haters.

      FWIW, Sanders probably would not have gotten as far as he did if not for Clinton’s specific weaknesses, and his total primary vote looks stronger than most losing candidates just because he stayed in the race until the bitter end and Clinton was basically just playing prevent defense. Clinton could have blown him out of the water if she’d wanted to. So I think you are reading too much into this.

      • antimule says:

        English is not my first language, I was not deliberately trying to be un-classy. I asked because, as a general rule, a lack of credible external opposition often intensifies internal strife. It is possible that I am “reading too much into this.”

      • Tom says:

        Ah, okay. “Democrat Party” is not proper; the proper term is “Democratic Party.” Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing blowhards refer to it as “Democrat Party” though.

        Were the Republican Party to fall apart, one possibility would be for the Democrats to split in two, but probably a more likely scenario would be for old-line Republicans to simply form a new party. After all they would need somewhere to go. Duverger’s Law suggests that a two-party system is inevitable.

      • Greg Wellman says:

        “English is not my first language” […] “a lack of credible external opposition often intensifies internal strife.”

        I’d just like to say that your usage of English is considerably better than that of the average native speaker.

        The backstory on “Democrat Party” is a rather obscure and childish inside-politics game.

      • antimule says:


        Thanks. All those sci-fi books that I read are finally paying off.

    • RobA says:

      There’s nothing whatsoever to suggest that would happen.

      The party seems pretty unified.

    • Stephen says:

      That is a distinct possibility. Most of the progressive and even moderate wing of the old GOP is now in the Democratic Party. Florida former Govenor Crist is an example of that.

    • Shiro17 says:

      I think it’s possible.

      If Trump’s campaign has any lasting effects, it’s that the parites may start to align along the axis of globalization v. anti-globalization. The Sanders crowd of old left, labor & anti-trade voters would definitely fall in the anti-globalization crowd, whereas most of the national security “Clinton Republicans” and a lot of the urban and sub-urban professionals would be in the pro-globalization crowd.

      • 1mime says:

        Would a Clinton win and expansion of the Democratic Party’s nationally as well as into the states have the unintended consequence of re-building unions? Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Has Trump awakened a sleeping giant? Here’s one point of view.

        “Union decline has left the working class politically and economically vulnerable, and it’s this vulnerability Mr. Trump has been able to exploit. (For obvious reasons, working-class African-Americans and Latinos are antipathetic.) If unions had anything like their former influence, how many workers would buy the empty economic promises Mr. Trump is making — a man whose recently announced economic advisory team is made up largely of fellow billionaires, and who has said that hourly wages are too high?

        There’s a lesson here for the future. American unions have a checkered history and are far from perfect. But as an institution, unions are an essential bulwark for democracy. We’ve allowed them to wither.”

  17. Griffin says:

    Fidel “No no I wasn’t a dictator” Castro turned 90:

    Such news was impossible for me to miss with many far-leftists on my Facebook Feed regurgitating Telesur propaganda about his “benevelont” leadership, of course. I have to hope this left “REVOLuTion NoW” fringe stays out of the Democratic Party.

    In other news Manbij, Syria has been liberated from ISIS, not only saving local civilians but also causing ISIS to lose an important supply route to and from Turkey:

    BTW out of curiousity what is the most LIKELY series of events (or just event) that would have to happen for Trump to win? Is there any possibility of the madman becoming president or is it virtually impossible no matter what?

    • 1mime says:

      Google it…number of scenarios but without FL, none of them work. That’s why the article I linked earlier showing they are going in in a big, big way right away. To answer your question, of course Trump could win.

    • Stephen says:

      The Upshot in the NYT has the paths to presidency for both Trump and Hillary among other information in the segment Who will be president?. Hillary has over a thousand paths to win, Tump has about 10. A small chance but still a chance. I am not complacent as Trump would be a major disaster for my family and country.

  18. irapmup says:

    So much criticism is launced at Trump when it should be directed toward the very heart of the Republican Party. Not one of the so called leaders is willing to take the bullet, but rather deflect even criticism of the mildest sort away from themselves.

    This fiasco started long before the first debate which was held among who? Strong principled leaders who voiced concerns which would resonate with everyday citizens? Who stood up to the vapid yell of Joe Wilson or offered any counter to Mitch McConnell’s one term remarks?

    Not one of the original seventeen had the guts let alone the conviction to offer any criticism beyond racist taunts to Mr Obama. How can any person with a modicum of intellect defend such gutter sniping? Donald Trump didn’t win so much as the rest of the field, such as it was, lost.

    The Democrats will win Texas if the voters there come to the realization the GOP only represents the very wealthiest and while there is little difference between the leadership of either party the Democrats ring a bell and always have with working class America.

    With regard to cracks in the foundation they were first observed when LBJ sat out an election that he could have won. Certainly the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK played a part in his decision, but the mounting death toll in the Vienam horror more than anything rang a personal death knell to his political career.

    There are no decent aspirants to office in the present GOP and there may never be anymore within the Democratic party. In fact the demise of elective office itself may be fast approaching as we realise government can be better managed through worlwide computerization.

    All we have to do is to separate fact from fancy and that program is in the works.

    • 1mime says:

      Wonderful thinking, Ira! As a good friend said recently, we’re already living in a time of automation; god help us when the robots start building the robots! Who needs humans?

      • 1mime says:

        One more thought, Ira. I don’t really see Republicans learning from even a landslide defeat. The only thing that will humble them is to lose enough seats that they lose several election cycles, the radicals split off and the sane Repubs either form a new party or coalesce with smaller numbers. As you noted, the 17 on stage Repubs didn’t show much remorse but also remember, they enjoyed massive wins down ticket in the prior mid terms. So, they think they got a mandate just not the presidency.

  19. duncancairncross says:

    There was an article talking about US voters, (probably applies worldwide)
    Basically it said that when they first vote and choose a party they tend to stick with that party through thick and thin
    That explains the fact that after the Shrub the GOP didn’t just evaporate

    But in the current situation the youngsters are really really anti Trump – and anti GOP
    So if the new generation votes DEM in Texas – they will probably continue to vote that way

    • Stephen says:

      I always have split my ticket and voted almost every election for 44 years. Been registered Democrat and Republican. The real deal a swing voter. With the right strategy and enough time youngsters could be won over later in life from what ever party they initially registered. But right now in the majority of young peoples eyes the GOP is an abomination.

      • >] “With the right strategy and enough time youngsters could be won over later in life from what ever party they initially registered. But right now in the majority of young peoples eyes the GOP is an abomination.

        Republicans couldn’t have picked a worse time to implode, honestly. Millenials’ impressions, including my own, of the GOP were formed during the Bush years. We don’t know Morning in America and when people talk about it, more often than not all you’re going to get is a shrug and a “so what?”

        Is it still possible to turn it around? Yeah, but is it more likely that, at the very least, this Republican Party has forfeited the regard of an entire generation? Yup.

      • 1mime says:

        It may be late to set up as large a ground operation as Clinton has (since 2015 per the article), but with enough money, a lot can be done. What is so difficult for this group of politically savy people can’t get our heads around, most people – read that “most” people, haven’t even been paying attention to the campaign….only the serious folks and their minds are made up.

    • RobA says:

      This dynamic is why Trump is likely an extinction level event for the GOP. Theyve lost an entire generation, and it’s pretty hard to see how they can just say after the election “well, that whole Trump thing was weird, right? Ah well, no worries, the GOP is back! Come on over Millenials!”

      • You’re almost assuredly right in that the current Republican Party is doomed. Best to just let it all burn to the ground. That said however, there is a silver lining in all this for the GOP.

        Like I said before, Millenials’ perception of Republicans were formed in the Bush years. On one hand, that’s an abysmally painful way to make a first impression, but on the other hand it also means that they’ve never seen a platform that wasn’t already perverted and weighed down by white nationalist politics. That’s an opening for a new political party to come in and fill the gap.

        Frankly, who gives a f*** if the so-called Republican Party is dead? I sure as hell don’t. What’s important are the ideas, beliefs and principles that gave birth it to in the first place are passed on with an open-mindedness to reform them as the times demand. A name really is just a name.

      • 1mime says:

        As disappointed and disgusted as I have been for the past decade with the Republican Party, it used to stand for something good. It can again, but not with this cast of characters and not without the brutal self-honesty that absolute defeat offers. In truth, the Democratic and Republican Parties can have different policy positions that they spar over while still finding consensus in basic principles that allows government to function. The fact that our governing process has disintegrated to a state of near total dysfunction, where a president who abhorred the use of executive power through regulatory control had to utilize such means in order to make government “move”, should speak volumes.

        Just “who” are we trying to hurt here? President Obama? All elected Democrats? What about the duty each elected member of Congress has to the United States of America? What about the “people”? Isn’t it possible to have policy disagreements that can be managed with civility and resolve to find common agreement? Shouldn’t that be the goal of every member of Congress? Why are we re-electing people who refuse to do their jobs? Are we, the people, the ones who are really at fault? For expecting competence but getting obstruction? For expecting Congress to run the business of our nation with bi-partisan decision making? For expecting that when there is a hurricane, we as a nation don’t with hold funds in order to balance the budget, or refuse to allocate funds when a major health issue threatens our country…We, the people, not only should expect more, we deserve more than we’re getting.

        Are you getting tired of this?

      • >] “Why are we re-electing people who refuse to do their jobs? Are we, the people, the ones who are really at fault?

        We all get the government we deserve, and yes the people are at fault, mime, myself included. We hear from pundits and news outlets talking all the damn time about the attitude there is to “throw the bums out”, but re-election rates for incumbents haven’t budged at all. When it comes to Congress, we’re only willing to kick ’em all out insofar as it means that we don’t have to admit we did anything wrong when it comes to our own representatives.

        There is nothing more precious in this world than your own time, and that’s what is lacking for representation in our politics. It’s why an overwhelming majority of Republican voters want expanded background checks for guns and yet Representatives and Senators in Washington won’t budge an inch. As far as they’re concerned, all they’re hearing are voices of mostly old people with nothing better to do than inject their venom into the political process. And who’s going to tell them different?

      • 1mime says:

        I try not to be a part of the dynamic that rewards non-deserving incumbents with my vote. I may occasionally have no choice (this is TX and Dems don’t field a full ticket), but at least I try to make my vote match my rhetoric. I am pretty certain you do as well, despite your mea culpa. Politics is both fascinating and disgusting as a process. But the variable of the electorate is one that continues to amaze me. On the one hand, I want full voter participation, on the other hand, I want only voters who at least have made some effort to understand the issues and vet the candidates beyond party affiliation.

        In the article I linked about IL automatic voter registration, it described what happened with OR who is the first state to implement this policy. “In Oregon, the only state so far where the policy has gone into effect, registration and voter participation have surged. The primary had one of the highest number of voters in Oregon’s history, second only to 2008’s historic election.”

        Thus, I’m left to wonder – if voter participation improves with automatic registration, why are we not implementing this process across America? And, will this expansion improve the quality of candidates selected by virtue of more people from a wider spectrum going to the polls? Is the answer really that voting doesn’t need to be more selective or more difficult but encouraged, and therefore outcomes less dependent upon political process than diversity of large numbers of voters?

        Something has to change because I continue to submit that Americans are getting short-changed in political representation.

    • 1mime says:

      “.Why has the U.S. economy performed better under Democratic than Republican presidents, almost regardless of how one measures performance? …what could it be about the Democratic economic policy mix that delivers superior performance?”

      In this Evonomics piece, the author explores the fact that America’s GDP has been much stronger under Democratic governance (4.4% than Republican governance (2.5%). He offers a well-articulated rebuttal to two hardly liberal economists, Alan Blinder and Mark Watson, , who attempt to explain why Democrats are more successful….and their conclusion? Luck!!!! It’s a bit more than that as the article explains. For those of you who have bought into the message that Republicans are better for the economy, read on. For those of you who need more encouragement to support the Democratic Party as a party that can govern and keep the economy in better shape than Republicans, read on. The Democratic Party has its faults, which exist in my view of lack of strategic political planning, but their ability to run government sufficiently well enough to trounce the Repubs in measurable GDP analysis bears a shout out. Read on.

  20. My first comment here (really appreciate this blog!), and I will do the contrarian thing.

    If Hillary actually wins TX, it will pretty much imply a, well, Texas sized national blowout. I don’t know what a ‘mandate’ is, but it would certainly be a giant opportunity for Dems – and one that Hillary is almost uniquely well suited to take advantage of.

    Why? As our blogger pointed out in his Mythbusters post (April 25), Hillary Clinton has a well of deep support that is unmatched in contemporary US politics, so she has a strong political foundation to build on once in office. And when in office – as opposed to seeking office – she has tended to a) have wide approval, and b) do well at working across the aisle. Jeebs, even Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) just called her someone he ‘can work with.’ (Wow!)

    Moreover, while Hillary is very much a liberal, she is not very ideological, and indeed the Democratic Party as a whole is not very ideological. Even Bernie did not really run an ideological campaign; he may call himself a democratic socialist, but so far as anyone could tell from his campaign that just means ‘more liberal than Hillary’.

    So Hillary in the WH, with Dem majorities in Congress (and many statehouses, assuming a blowout on this scale), will certainly do lots of liberal stuff, but she won’t be ideologically shackled to pushing unpopular or sure-to-backfire agenda items. Her basic politics is very granular, the opposite of sweeping. And the ‘movement’ Left (to which even Bernie gave only lip service) is far too marginalized in Democratic politics to force her to do anything.

    All of which means that with even a tolerable minimum of luck, Hillary will be positioned to have a successful and active first term. And with the GOP in total meltdown post Trump, don’t expect the midterm snap-back we’ve seen in recent cycles. GOP primaries will be blood on the tracks affairs. Humpty Dumpty, smashed by Trumpty, may not be even be put back together by 2020, if ever.

    Of course there won’t be some sort of permanent Dem super majority! A center-right party will coalesce, but by then (2024, most likely) there will be different issues and different alignments, and all the stuff about red states and blue states will have the quaintness of a past era.

  21. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    HRC will win the #Never_FillnTheBlank election but it would be a disappointment to see democrats using that victory as sign of a ‘mandate’. This election cannot provide one of those because so many are voting against someone vs for someone.

    It is still an opportunity to show restraint, even handedness, and good government in action. Not the time to shove all the cookies on the table into your mouth like a brat.

    I’m optimistic they will behave.

    • 1mime says:

      I agree, Jeff. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Democratic Party so energized and focused. What I do not see at all is over-confidence. Most Democrats are hopeful but fully aware how easily this election could go sour. GOTV is critical.

      • mime is right. Overconfidence is the last thing you see from Democratic insiders right now. In terms of structural groundwork and operations, Clinton’s campaign is effectively flawless; strategically pulling out of states like Colorado and Virginia where she has double-digit leads and expanding the map bit by bit.

        On the House side, Democrats are putting their back into districts where they haven’t competed seriously in years. They’re taking full advantage of Trump’s hemorrhaging educated suburbanites who’ve voted Republican in the past to put seats into play that would’ve otherwise been much more competitive.

        And slap on your hard hats if Republicans go into a full-on military retreat from Trump in the coming weeks. Don’t think for a moment that you’ve seen the worst of GOP disunity if that happens.

      • 1mime says:

        I heard Carl Icahn interviewed on CNBC the other day (big Trump backer/real estate investor and entrepreneur – net worth reputed at $17.2 B). He was singing T’s praises and made this statement: I am just waiting…I can put millions in whenever they’re needed….This is what worries me…the big donors have been sitting on the sidelines, Trump is sitting on his nest egg ($80M) as are other conservative wealthy….big money won’t win elections, per Lifer, but it can make life very difficult for the Clinton team who is already stretched out in a huge field operation and an aggressive ad campaign. I think T is letting her spend down her reserves then will jump in with mega spending…what difference will this make? We’ll see.

      • It’s a valid concern, mime, but an increasingly unnecessary one. GOTV efforts require months of consistent and patient effort, of which the Trump campaign (if you’re gracious enough to call it that, that is) has engaged comparatively none compared to the Clinton campaign. There is always the RNC and what the Party itself can accomplish, but it’s never going to match up with what a strong presidential campaign could offer on a national scale.

        I’ve said it before. This, right now, is the time that voters’ views are being formed. Once we get past Labor Day and into the debates, you can’t just throw in millions of dollars and suddenly turn the whole race upside down.

        In other words, it’s getting late early.

    • RobA says:

      Are you saying That HRC should act as a place holder and not try to enact any Progressive policies?

      If so, I strongly disagree.

      • Greg Wellman says:

        Rob has an important point here. While “overreaching” is certainly a real thing (GWB attempting to privatize social security comes to mind…) any elected leader must act on their platform with seeming confidence. If they do not, they will cease to be seen as a leader. Clinton will not have a free hand of course, as the GOP will presumably continue to hold a majority in the House, but she’s not seeking the job to polish her resume at age 68! She will definitely attempt to advance most of the platform, likely in incremental fashion through a combination of administrative rules, political deal-making, etc.

  22. Donald Evitt says:

    Chris is a pretty astute individual.

    Sent from Don’s iPhone


  23. Stephen says:

    It would have to be a real blowout for Clinton to win Texas. Fivethirtyeight blog has about a one in five chance of that happening.

    • 1mime says:

      Stephen, You and Ryan (the only commentators here I know who are Floridians) have your work cut out for you. Note that the Trump campaign is sitting on almost $80M and has yet to run its first ad in FL whereas Clinton has spent millions nationally and over $20M in FL alone. Here’s the story and note voter registration references. Good luck, work hard….help people register to vote – Democrat then help get people to the polls. In FL, it will make a difference. In TX, a drop in a very red bucket. You have a real shot in FL.

      • Stephen says:

        She is up about 5% last I looked. And Obama won last time by 120K in Florida.Very close. If the I-4 Corridor is motivated to get out to vote the jig is up for Trump. Many more Puerto Ricans in the Corridor now than when Obama ran last time. And they are overwhelming Democrat. Usually how the Corridor goes so goes Florida as the North is Red and the South Blue canceling each other out. Which is why Central Florida is being bombarded with Ads.

      • 1mime says:

        If I still lived in FL, I would DVR everything so I could fast-forward through ads (-; And, I would definitely have caller ID…no name? No answer.

      • >] “Which is why Central Florida is being bombarded with Ads.

        ^ What this guy said, though things feel a little subdued compared to 2012 at least, what with Clinton the only one being throwing in any serious ad time.

        That aside, Trump’s cooked in FL if nothing changes. With only 13% among FL Hispanics (a group Romney did around +20 better with in 2012, iirc), it’s not looking to be particularly close. With added demographic changes, we could be looking at a comparatively early call on election night.

  24. n1cholas says:

    I don’t think anyone in the solar system believes that Clinton winning Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah, or Arizona stems from Clinton being the most beloved and celebrated Presidential candidate in history.

    Progressives have been shouting this AT the Democratic party for over a year. Republicans, who were publicly hesitant but hoping that a Strongman Trump victory would ensure their own victories are now waking up to the fact that Strongman Trump is not only a lunatic, but that he actually represents the Republican base almost perfectly. Warnings that a Clinton victory doesn’t mean that Texas is now a progressive utopia don’t need to be made – we realize that it stems from Strongman Trump being a terrible candidate, and the Libertarian party having two Republican ex-governors.

    At the end of the day, the liberals, d.b.a. the dirty hippies of the past 50 years, have been SHOUTING at anyone who would listen (which wasn’t that many people) that the Republican party was playing with fire and gasoline by silently promoting nationalism and bigotry while constantly lying through their media outlets.

    And here we are.

    • 1mime says:

      And, until Trump came along, the Republican Party got away with it. All of it.

      “Trump is not only a lunatic, but (that) he actually represents the Republican base almost perfectly.”

      I have a slightly different take, n1cholas. I believe that the GOPe owns the base they’ve created through carefully cultivated fear, racism, religious extremism, and anger. Trump is part of nor typical of the manipulated base; rather, I believe Trump is the GOP establishment unmasked. A party which Trump recognized, “used” their base as a foil to achieve gains for themselves. He knew he could do it “better” than they could. HE could beat them at their own game. The GOP elite disdain ordinary people who can be easily duped and manipulated while enriching themselves and their donor base through tax cuts and power. The sops of abortion and religious pandering are a pittance to pay and a wonderful distraction from their real, self-serving agenda. Thus blue collar whites vote Republican while gaining nothing for their allegiance, and Democrats fight for gains for the middle class and poor while gaining nothing for their efforts.

      This is what the huckster Trump recognized because he fits right in with this modus operandi. Who better to understand the shill than another shill? I think Trump beat them at their own game – even if he loses. I would not be surprised, as others have stated earlier, to see Trump unload on the GOP as the campaign grinds to an end. He has no loyalty to them and he knows full well that they merely tolerate him as a means to an end. “Their” end, make no mistake about that. The caveat is that should Trump pull off a victory, he and the GOP would be strange bedfellows indeed, and that the charade of superiority that the Republican Party has so carefully orchestrated would endure for one more election cycle.

      That Cannot Happen.

      • n1cholas says:

        I don’t disagree, and to some extent, I am blaming the donor class/establishment for what they’ve done: “the Republican party was playing with fire and gasoline by silently promoting nationalism and bigotry while constantly lying through their media outlets.”

        That said, Trump represents the Republican base simply because the establishment has trained the base to be reactionary. To believe whatever the proper media channels insinuate, and to disbelieve anything else as “media bias”. The Republican base has been so well-trained that if Strongman Trump loses in a landslide, a good portion will still fail to acknowledge the objective, observable reality that their viewpoints are not only delusional, but noxious to most Americans and humans around the world. Some will triple down and work relentlessly to get Cruz the nomination for 2020, while hopefully enough of them simply stay home and binge watch Duck Dynasty so that the House can get ungerrymandered by the 2020 census.

      • 1mime says:

        I do not see any way for Dems to take back 30 seats in the House in this election. Any way. If I am correct, that means that any Dem legislation – progressive or not – will not receive support through the appropriations process in the House. Now, “if” Dems can upset the majority (somehow win 30 seats), so that the Hastert Rule “has” to be abandoned in order for the Repubs to get anything passed (which they might still not do just to obstruct Clinton), it could become a numbers game, and Repubs might have to depend upon Dem support. For this to happen, the 40 member TP Freedom Caucus has to start losing re-elections and/or the remaining 207 Repubs have to revolt and join with Dems to pass legislation, ending the Hastert Rule. There are only 3 FC members up for re-election this November and the group is actively working to expand their bloc plus not lose these 3 positions. While nothing is impossible, it is highly improbable. Where this becomes a real problem, is with approval of the budget. I would not put it past the FC if there is a landslide, but not 30 seat gain for Dems, to stick it to the O administration. They simply don’t give a S*it.

        Why is this important? The big pieces of Clinton’s agenda will require funding. If the mood of the House Repubs remains recalcitrant, i.e., they are beaten in a landslide but have zero interest in working across the aisle, AND, Dems don’t pick up 30 seats, Clinton can’t implement the majority of her platform. If the Dems take the Senate, they can approve judicial appointments and treaties, but that’s about it. (Out of self interest, Dems have agreed not to filibuster SCOTUS nominees, only lower court nominees, but as Fly pointed out earlier, if thwarted, they might disavow that – but at their peril given the likely reversal of the Senate in 2018 to the GOP – if there is a GOP in 2018.

      • n1cholas says:

        I’m not going to even think about the House flipping in 2016 – but if the Republicans can lose enough seats to allow for a coalition of people willing to actually – gasp – govern, I believe this country can move forward in ways it couldn’t under Obama.

        Hell, the next step in a (semi)permanent crackup of the Republican party is the House acting like a parliamentary body with a Democratic minority and SaneRepublican™ minority working together.

        I think that is a possibility before 2020, and I’d count it as a step in the right direction, i.e. SaneRepublicans™ getting past the “No Democratic President is legitmate” default stance, and again -gasp- actually governing.

      • 1mime says:

        You still have to get past the Freedom Caucus and they are not going anywhere.

    • RobA says:

      I think you’re right, but just to play devil’s advocate a bit, Texas has a huge non white population, it’s almost majority-minority. The problem is, TX has a really low minority turnout.

      So, it’s not like Texas needs to do some crazy political flip to turn purple permanently. The pieces are already in place. If they can convince minorities to GOTV in droves, TX could turn purple and stay there. Probably not in 2016, but 2020 is plausible.

      And if ever there’s an event that could propel that sort of massive voter registration, it’s Trumps nomination.

      • 1mime says:

        GOTV is only one piece of TX puzzle with the Hispanic population. The other part is getting them registered to vote (many are fearful of that process.)

        Possibly Tutta has a better idea of what the mood of this ethnicity is regarding the Nov. election. Though, there is a huge working class Hispanic group that Tutta may not interact with.

      • n1cholas says:

        True, but at the same time, GOTV/voter participation among people who should vote but don’t is almost always higher with the liberal/Democratic party.

        It’s one reason why I believe there should be a $500.00 tax rebate for voting each year – $250.00 for a primary vote, and another $250.00 for a general election vote.

        Essentially pay people to go and vote, and perhaps people will pay attention…or at least vote their conscience generically.

  25. 1mime says:

    I so agree. Those who think TX being “in play” is anything other than a short term situation really don’t understand TX. If the Democratic Party apparatus could get its act together (!), and organize just the Hispanic voters – not to mention the few of us who actually call ourselves Democrats in this deep red state – they could begin the process of at least Texas being more balanced in its politics. This is so important. Consider the fact that many of the SCOTUS challenges to conservative issues emanate from, ta da, TX. Consider that our sitting AG is SWI – (serving while indicted – and he IS guilty – just can’t get the court process rolling), and consider that TX used to be dominated have a very active Democratic political presence. and consider that Hispanic growth as a percentage of population is expanding rapidly. It’s tailor made for at least a viable Democratic presence…which I happen to believe is necessary for the democratic process to function…not only in each state, but in Congress. Consensus will never happen because it can’t happen when one party dominates the agenda.

    The Democratic Party needs to get off their *sses and put together a formal game plan to turn more battleground states blue. This is laziness on their part and failure of long term thinking and lack of investment. For me, as a Democrat, I want more than a Presidency every now and then, I want to hear my issues and views echoed in the halls of our state legislature and Congress. It’s not a matter of always “winning”, it’s a matter of at least being part of the discussion. I’ve done the door to door canvassing, yard sign distribution, neighborhood coffees, fund-raising and donations. I want the party leadership to do their part.

    And, btw, a poorly run national campaign by Dems doesn’t set the bar very high for Repubs. I want it to be very high for both parties so we can elevate the discussion, the organization and the participation of more ordinary Americans. Voting turn out is abysmal in TX but it is also sad in a country that lards itself as the bastion of democracy. We can set better examples.

    In this regard, I offer this WaPo piece that illustrates how not to run a major political party.–with-one-crucial-exception/2016/08/12/29c9cf46-6013-11e6-af8e-54aa2e849447_story.html?utm_term=.cb3ba0bba8e8&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

    “If they ever hope to truly advance a progressive agenda, Democrats need to start working now on surviving those midterms, retaking state legislatures and reversing gerrymandering — or Republicans’ stranglehold on government will last even longer.”

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