Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.19-20: The Hillary Voter, Trade, Zika Virus, Charleston Community Quilt


This weekend edition of Hillary News & Views begins with some long overdue analysis of the voters who are supporting the candidate who has gotten the most votes from either party so far.

The New Republic reports on “The Hillary Voter”:
The voter we almost never hear about, however, is the Clinton voter. Which is surprising, since Hillary Clinton has won more votes in the primaries than any other candidate so far. She has amassed over 2.5 million more votes than Sanders; over 1.1 million more votes than Trump. Clearly Clinton voters exist, yet there has been very little analysis as to who they are or why they are showing up to vote for her. Sure, there has been talk of Clinton’s dominance among African-American voters, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic voters. Her voters seem to skew older and more affluent. But these are demographics. (And even demographics have a hard time explaining her commanding win in Ohio, or her wins in Massachusetts and Missouri.) There is almost no discussion of what is motivating these voters. If anything, the media seems to think they are holding their noses as they vote for Hillary. As a recent New York Times article suggested, Clinton is winning “votes, not hearts.”
We never hear that Hillary Clinton has “momentum”—what she has is a “sizable delegate lead.” No one this cycle has described Clinton supporters as “fired up”—it’s simply not possible that people are fired up for Hillary. No, what we gather about Clinton from the press is that she can’t connect. She has very high unfavorable ratings. People think she is dishonest and untrustworthy. She is not a gifted politician. She is a phony. Hated by so many. The list goes on.
An examination of Clinton voters and their motivations might reveal that the narrative that most media outlets have been feeding us this election cycle is dubious at best. Because if the biggest vote-getter of either party is Hillary—by a large margin—then that suggests the electorate is not necessarily as angry as pundits claim. It further suggests that perhaps some people are tired of hearing about how angry they are, and are quietly asserting their opinions at the ballot box. If Democrats are so angry, Clinton would not be in the position she is today. Is it really so farfetched to claim that quite a few Democrats aren’t voting for Sanders precisely because he seems angry? Which isn’t to suggest that people aren’t angry—certainly many Republican primary voters seem to be. Rather, it is to suggest that voters who aren’t angry are still showing up at the polls, despite being ignored in news stories.
So perhaps Clinton voters don’t show up at rallies so much. Perhaps they are a bit less passionate on Facebook, share fewer articles, give less money to their candidate (she does have a super PAC, after all). But what they are doing is perhaps the only thing that actually matters in an election. They are showing up to vote. In numbers that no other candidate can boast. 
It’s certainly curious to presume, as many do, that Clinton’s supporters are somehow less enthusiastic than Sanders’s are. How is enthusiasm measured, if not by actual vote count? And they are doing so despite the media narrative surrounding their candidate, despite hearing very little about themselves in the media, despite her “damn” emails, despite Benghazi, despite her low Gallup favorables, and despite how everyone else is “Feeling the Bern.” If anything, Clinton might need to thank the press for consistently underestimating her. Perhaps this is why her supporters are coming out for her in such strength: to assert their existence in the face of a narrative that both overlooks them and disparages their candidate.
Roll Call reports:
There’s been a lot of talk about an enthusiasm gap between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in this election cycle: Every Democrat wants to vote for him and some reluctantly vote for her.
At least, that’s how the narrative goes. And it’s easy to believe if you’re a millennial—because it’s pretty true among your cohort—or, like many journalists, you spend a lot of time with elite white dudes.
But there’s another subset of the electorate that has been the story of the Democratic primary campaign: African-American women. More than any other demographic group, black women are the reason Hillary Clinton has racked up a 2 million-vote lead on Bernie Sanders and, more important, a 300-point advantage among pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
The bedrock of her winning campaign is African-American women, and, as a group, these women seem pretty damn determined to vote for her.
“They are the absolute heart of the party,” Jaime Harrison, the South Carolina Democratic Party chairman said of African-American women in a comment posted on Sidewire (the political communication platform I work for). “Hillary is their BFF.”
But it’s not unusual for Clinton to rely on African-American women. Over the years, her top aides have included Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills, owners of two of the sharpest minds in the political world.
Without getting too deep into the intricacies of delegate math, areas with high concentrations of reliably Democratic voters — think big cities with significant minority populations — award more delegates than regions of a state that provide fewer votes for Democratic candidates. That makes black women—who are more likely to vote than black men—a key to any Democratic presidential primary hopeful’s success.
What does all that mean?
It means Clinton owes her standing in the Democratic race not just to African-American voters but, more specifically, to African-American women. More than any other set of voters, black women are propelling Clinton toward the general election. In the primary, that’s the most compelling enthusiasm-gap — even if it’s getting a lot less attention.
And, most important for Clinton, having an energized and mobilized base of African American women could be the key to winning swing states such as Florida, Virginia and North Carolina in November.

Politico reports how trade helped Clinton decisively win the Ohio primary:
For months after she launched her campaign last April, Hillary Clinton faced internal pressure from her Brooklyn headquarters to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal she helped craft as secretary of State. Both of her Democratic opponents at the time had quickly rejected the deal, and Clinton’s delay made it seem as though she was avoiding a difficult political decision. But Clinton insisted on holding out until she read the final details of the plan, sources said.
In October, citing last-minute loopholes that would favor China and the lack of currency manipulation enforcement, Clinton ultimately came out against the deal.
At the time, her opposition to the fine print was ridiculed as a classic Clintonian flip-flop. But now, Democratic strategists said, her carefully nuanced position on trade actually helped her win the industrial Midwest — a string of wins Tuesday night that all but ensure Clinton will become the Democratic nominee.
Clinton’s position of supporting trade deals in general but rejecting the current version of a deal based on specific objections, her campaign said, was more in line with the position of a majority of Democratic voters today than Sanders’ blanket moral opposition to trade deals overall.
Clinton’s strategy for winning the industrial Midwest, advisers said, began in the ballroom at Caesars Palace the afternoon after her Nevada victory. There, surrounded by casino workers, she began talking about “breaking down barriers for all” and the importance of competing in a global economy — a message targeting manufacturing workers in the Rust Belt.
“If we open our hearts to the families of coal country and Indian country, if we listen to the hopes and heartaches of hardworking people across America,” she said last month in Nevada, “it’s clear there is so much more to be done. The truth is, we aren’t a single-issue country. … Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century, it’s probably going to be China, Germany or us, and I want it to be us.”
Last Tuesday, that strategy appeared to have worked: Clinton won a 13-point victory in Ohio, followed by wins by slimmer margins in Illinois and Missouri. About 75 percent of Ohio Democrats said they were somewhat worried or very worried about the economy, and 53 percent said they believed that trade costs American jobs rather than helped to create them, according to exit polls. Still, among those voters, Clinton beat Sanders 53 percent to 46 percent.
And 39 percent of Ohio voters said the issue that mattered most to them was jobs and the economy. Among those voters, Clinton beat Sanders 57 percent to 40 percent.
Clinton wrote an op-ed for Medium on the Zika virus:
The Zika virus, which has already spread through South and Central America and the Caribbean, has now infected a number of Americans. It’s a serious disease that risks the long-term health of children. We’ve got to step up as a country and deal with this right now.
To date, there have been nearly 200 confirmed Zika infections in the continental United States. That includes 49 in Florida, 19 in Texas and 25 in New York, plus cases in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Hawaii and Indiana. So far, every one of those infections has been related to travel — people went to Central and South America, were bitten by infected mosquitos there, and came home with the virus. But we’re likely to see people become infected without leaving the United States — both because there is evidence that Zika can be sexually transmitted, and because mosquitos in this country will likely start spreading Zika as the weather gets warmer. This is already happening in Puerto Rico (whose residents, remember, are American citizens) where there are close to 160 cases today, and where experts predict that 1 in 5 people could become infected with Zika by summer. For an island without many public health resources, this is a serious problem.
Why does Zika matter? In great part because it’s been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with too-small heads, often leading to severe developmental delays. The heartbreak that microcephaly can cause families is devastating. And babies with microcephaly require a great deal of long-term medical care. That’s something that many families and communities just don’t have the resources to provide.
That’s why we’ve got to stop Zika before it spreads any further.
There is a lot we need to do, and fast. First and foremost, Congress should meet President Obama’s request for $1.8 billion in emergency appropriations to fight Zika. The president asked for this funding over a month ago, but on Saturday, Congress will begin a two-week break without having allocated one penny.
Instead, Congressional Republicans said the Administration should use funds left over from fighting Ebola — even though that money is still being used. Why would we lower our defenses against one public health threat in order to meet another one? That’s senseless and dangerous. Congress needs to provide the funds to fight Zika now.
Here’s where that money should go: developing a rapid diagnostic test for Zika; developing a vaccine; and developing treatment. We need to increase our research into the connection between Zika and microcephaly. And we need to step up mosquito control and abatement, and make sure the public knows how to protect themselves and their kids.
Some states have already stepped up to protect their citizens. Last month, Florida declared Zika a public health emergency in impacted counties. New York is offering free testing, and Governor Cuomo has just put forward a comprehensive plan to fight Zika throughout the state. I urge more states to follow suit, especially those with warmer climates.
Zika is real. It’s dangerous. It’s already reached the United States. We need to act now to protect people, especially pregnant women. There are smart, achievable things we could be doing right now, and there’s no time to waste. So we need Congress to act. We need citizens to demand action.
Together, we can keep families and children safe.
The Arizona Republic endorses Clinton for the Democratic nomination:
Hillary Clinton deserves her due.
Not just because she has risen higher than any woman in American politics, but because she is by far the most experienced candidate of any of those running in either party this year. In fact, she is one of the most experienced people to ever run for president.
Clinton’s record of achievement is long and storied. She was a top student in college who went on to Yale Law School and to practice law. She served as first lady in the Clinton White House with an ambition to tackle huge national and global problems — universal health care and women’s rights.
After the White House, she won a seat in the U.S. Senate and represented the state of New York for eight years. She ran for president and lost to Barack Obama, who turned around and made her his secretary of State.
In four years on that job, she traveled to 112 countries, more than any of her predecessors.
Clinton will win this race because of qualities she showed as a young woman. While Sanders went off into fantasy land, offering free college to students and a single-payer health-care system, Clinton kept it anchored, proposing subsidized college educations while not tossing the entire bill to taxpayers.
Clinton is more real. She proposes large spending of her own, $350 billion on higher education, but requires contributions from students, parents and states. She seems to grasp, more than Sanders, that the American treasury is stressed.
On foreign policy, she is far better equipped to lead than Sanders. Her relationships with world figures would be invaluable in framing America’s outreach beyond our shores. She is reticent to put American troops on the in highly charged conflicts in the Middle East, preferring instead to leave the ground fighting to Middle Eastern allies.
But she is also battle-tested, hardened by the fierce political infighting and partisanship that consumes political life in this country.
Her enemies, and they are legion, have sought to tear her down. But she is still standing, and on the cusp of the highest office in the land.
She has the mettle to be president. The sound judgment to be commander in chief.
For that reason, The Arizona Republic recommends when Arizonans vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, they vote for Hillary Clinton.
Daily News Bin reports on Clinton’s advantage in upcoming primaries:
Hillary Clinton has taken such a dominant lead in the popular vote and delegate count that her democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders now needs to win the remaining states by an average margin of around twenty points. The trouble for him: four of the most delegate-rich upcoming states are slanting heavily toward Clinton in the latest polling. Even one of the very few states where he held a significant lead now appears to be leaning the other way. Here’s a look at just how dominant Hillary’s latest numbers are.
The next round of voting on March 22nd consists of the big state of Arizona and the small states of Idaho and Utah. New polling says that Hillary Clinton’s lead in Arizona is a whopping twenty-six points. Clinton also has a seven point lead in Utah, but due to its caucus format Sanders could win the state. Sanders could also win the Idaho caucus for the same reason. But delegates are awarded proportionally, so the total popular vote across the three states on this day should boost Clinton’s overall delegate lead by at least a bit – and as always, that’s before even getting to the superdelegates.
There is little to no polling for the March 26th states of Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, making predictions difficult. Sanders wants Washington badly, and we’ll go deeper into that one in a moment. Moving on in the calendar to April 5th, the polls in Wisconsin have Clinton and Sanders statistically tied. That would result in the delegate haul being split almost evenly. So through the next seven states, the delegate count is going to come out roughly even. That’s bad news for Sanders, because he’s supposed to be winning all of these states by twenty points to have any chance of catching up.
Then comes New York on April 19th, where the two latest polls give Hillary an average lead of thirty-four points. That would boost Clinton’s lead by approximately sixty-five delegates. But the crushing blow comes on April 26th. Five states vote that day, but just two of them have most of the delegates. Hillary leads in Maryland by thirty-one points, and in Pennsylvania by twenty-six points. So just where is Sanders supposed to get his delegates from?

1 comment:

  1. I don't want to continue to stress difficult options for us, but we could openly counter, not simply among ourselves, all these media and republican party inspired, widespread, nonsensical notions we incessantly hear, about shortcomings Hillary has with trustworthiness, honesty, enthusiasm, about our not having a distinct Hillary voter type, etc. We can be more aggressive in debating, challenging, refuting the nonsense, without going overboard. We can use more humor and irony, making a much better case for Hillary, without offending or angering anyone. It'll require skill, subtlety, a clever admixture of a bit of daring and a bit of caution. I can't do it, I just don't the verbal, the media skills, but we certainly have the talent in our ranks. Let's mobilize more of it.