Hillary News & Views 5.6.16: The Swing Vote, Trump's Cinco de Mayo, and the LA Times Interview
Guest post by violining247
Hey everyone! Happy to be posting my first ever Hillary News & Views as we transition into general election mode! As Lysis explained earlier in the week, in order to keep the series going through November, there will be a team of us divvying up these posts, and today is my turn. So, without further ado, in today’s news…
Hillary will appear today at an organizing event in Oakland and a fundraiser San Francisco after campaigning in Los Angeles yesterday. At this evening’s fundraiser will be special guests Elizabeth Banks, Cheryl Strayed, and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. For additional upcoming events that have already been scheduled, you can visit this site.
Looking ahead to the general election, it’s key to keep in mind that over the course of this primary, Hillary has been propelled to victory by largely reassembling the multiracial Obama coalition. Turns out, this coalition of minority voters and anti-racist is also the key to defeating Trump, the embodiment of racial resentment, in November. As Peter Beinart writes in The Atlantic:
Never before in modern American history have the political parties been as polarized along racial lines as they are right now. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee responded to Black Lives Matter protesters by changing her platform to accommodate them. The presumptive Republican nominee responded to Black Lives Matter protesters by congratulating his supporters for assaulting them. This level of polarization may be dangerous for the country. But it means that, as Trump leaves the GOP cocoon and begins foraging for Democratic votes, he will face a dramatically more hostile environment. Obama helped create today’s Republican Party, a party open to Trump’s bigoted appeals. But Obama has also helped create today’s Democratic Party, a party more deeply anti-racist than any in American history.
Today’s Democratic Party is built on mobilizing African Americans, Latinos, and those white Americans who identify with their political views. It’s built on leveraging voters who consider bigotry a powerful, living force in American life. It’s a flawed party in many ways. But, thankfully, it’s a party built to defeat Donald Trump.
The Obama coalition this time around comes with a bit of a twist, though, and that is the very possible addition of a segment of conservative voters so horrified by Donald Trump that they would rather *gasp* hold their noses and vote for Hillary than vote for their own man at the top of the ticket. As Brent Budowsky at the Observer writes:
With Mr. Trump now the uncontested Republican nominee for president the next stage of Campaign 2016 will be a heightened level of scrutiny worthy of a potential commander in chief that will be accompanied by heightened and more public expressions of concern and opposition to his candidacy from an ever-growing number of prominent Republicans and conservatives.
There will be some conservative and Republican voices who will grudgingly support Mr. Trump. Others will seek to run a traditional Republican or conservative as a third party candidate against Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton in November. Still others will openly endorse Ms. Clinton to create what will be a significant Republicans for Clinton campaign.
My guess is that the largest single group of Republicans and conservatives who are horrified by the prospect of a Trump nomination, who also share a strong disdain for Ms. Clinton, will take no formal endorsement position on the election but will let it be publicly known that they intend to vote for Ms. Clinton over Mr. Trump while they strongly support Republicans running for the House and Senate in November.
Moreso than fed-up conservative voters, though, as Ronald Brownstein writes at The Atlantic, the key swing demographic to keep an eye on this time around will in all likelihood be college-educated white women, who have increasingly voted GOP for the last several election cycles but are becoming increasingly turned of by Trump being, well, himself.
Since the 1980s, Democratic presidential candidates have consistently run better among women than among men—or put the other way, Republicans have run better with men than women. This pattern has held among whites, African Americans, and Hispanics.
But the magnitude of the gender gap is inflated by Democrats’ overwhelming advantage among women of color. President Obama, for instance won exactly 96 percent of African American women, and over two-thirds of Hispanic women, in each of his two victories. Democrats haven’t done nearly as well among white women. In modern exit polling tracing back to 1972, the only Democrat to win more white women than his Republican opponent was Bill Clinton in 1996. Clinton in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000 also ran about even with white women. But since then, the GOP has carried white women by solid margins: 11 points in 2004, seven in 2008, and fully 14 for Mitt Romney against Obama in 2012.
Following long-term trends, it’s likely that minorities will cast 30 percent of the 2016 vote, and white women will comprise slightly more of the remainder than white men—just as in 2012. In his absolute best-case scenario, Trump might match the two-thirds of white men that Reagan won in 1984, the party’s modern apex. But given Trump’s astronomical unfavorable ratings among African Americans and Hispanics, it’s not unreasonable to project that Clinton could hold the roughly 80 percent of minority voters who have typically backed Democratic nominees since 1976.
If both those projections held true, and the electorate’s composition followed the long-term patterns, Trump would then need to attract 58 percent of white women to reach a national majority—slightly more than the 56 percent that Romney won. Looking at the equation from the other direction, if Clinton matched the usual Democratic performance with non-white voters and also carried even half of white women, Trump would then need to win more than three-fourths of white men for a national majority, a daunting prospect.
Will they actually go through with it and pull the level for Hillary come November? Only time will tell, so stay tuned!
Fortunately for our side, Trump already seems to be doing everything he can to alienate key demographics. As you may have seen, yesterday the Donald celebrated Cinco de Mayo by eating a taco bowl from Trump Tower Grill, posting an Instagram photo with the caption below:
I don’t know about you, but I already love how quickly Hillary’s team is responding to Trump, tying him to past statements and behavior even as he makes (feeble) attempts to soften his rhetoric, and is generally taking him seriously as an opponent. Bring it on, Trump! We’re with Hermione, after all.
Speaking of being with Hermione, Hillary had another editorial board interview, this time with the Los Angeles Times, giving her yet another chance to show off her wonky mastery of policy and her readiness to hit the ground running on day one in office. I’ve included my favorite segment below, but you should definitely treat yourself and read the whole thing if you get a chance.
Carla Hall: If you become the first woman president, that alone would be extraordinary. Obviously you would bring to that an enormous amount of leadership experience that’s non-gender specific. But what are the experiences as a woman that have shaped you that you think might affect the kind of president you would be?
Clinton: Well, I think we all bring our experiences to any elected office that we might hold, and as a woman I have the experience of being a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, and I place great store in those. One of the reasons why I am such an advocate for women’s rights here at home and around the world is, obviously, I am a woman. I have experienced or have certainly had firsthand connections with people who have been left out, left behind, discriminated against, and it’s part of what motivates me. And when I went to Beijing in 1995 and spoke out on behalf of women’s rights and human rights, it was a very personal appeal for me. Because I could not imagine what it must have been like for countless generations of women and girls to be treated as expendable, to be oppressed, to be denied education and healthcare, to have no role in their societies or their economies. And here at home I was a young lawyer in a lot of interesting and challenging settings. I saw firsthand how very often gender was used as a tool to discriminate against women.
I grew up in a period where there were schools I couldn’t go to, scholarships I couldn’t apply for, jobs I wasn’t welcome at. So I have a lived experience as a woman coming of age in our country after World War II who both saw what was limiting about that status, but also saw and participated in a lot of the changes that have made a very big difference. And I think there is still work to be done. We still have problems with equal pay. We still have problems balancing family and work. And I really applaud Gov. Brown and the Legislature for the steps that they’ve made in extending paid family leave. I know what it’s like to be at home with a sick baby and a babysitter who calls in sick as well, and I’m supposed to be in court at 9 o’clock in the morning and I’m just frantic, trying to scramble around to get some sort of help. So I know these kind of issues from inside and out. And I think bringing that experience to the White House, bringing it to the world stage will be a big net plus for our country.
Investigators haven't found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law.
Womp, womp...sorry GOP. We’ll probably get at least one more frenzied news cycle when the FBI does their interview with Hillary herself, but it seems like, barring some major, earth-shattering revelation there (unlikely), this thing is going to end up being the nothingburger we’ve always said it was.
And finally, to end on an even more positive note, for your daily dose of “Aww!” Hillary revealed in an interview with ET that she has plans for a nursery in the White House.
The presidential frontrunner and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, sat down with ET on Wednesday, and Hillary revealed that she will have a nursery at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for her 1 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte.
"Oh my gosh, of course!" Hillary told ET's Kevin Frazier with a laugh. "Easy question! I am thrilled that Charlotte recognizes me and calls me grandma. I am thrilled that she'll occasionally ask her mother or father where I am and then, if I'm around, they'll FaceTime me."
Nursery planning probably falls under the category of drape-measuring, which of course we don’t want to do too pre-emptively (psst...go phone bank!). But, with the dumpster, er, Trumpster fire going on with the Republicans right now, (see: Paul Ryan refusing to endorse Trump “at this point,” whatever that even means), it might be kind of fun to get a head start on planning.