Monday, May 16, 2016

State of the Race: 176 Days To Go

Just Two States Left (Until June 7th): Hard to believe...but we're really, finally approaching the end of the Democratic race.

After Kentucky and Oregon vote tomorrow, there won't be any more Democratic election days for almost three enjoy them while they last! The next state contests (CA, NJ, NM, MT, ND, SD) will occur on June 7th, the final Super Tuesday, with two territories voting on the weekend before (Virgin Islands the 4th and Puerto Rico on the 5th).

Benchmark Politics believes that both Kentucky and Oregon will be close, and I agree:
As a reminder, Nate Silver tells us that Sanders must win Kentucky by more than 35 points and Oregon by more than 57 points in order to keep from falling even further behind Clinton in the delegate race. So whether Hillary wins or loses there, we already know that it's going to be another rough night for Bernie.

That said, it would be a lot more fun if she won them both.

Trump is an Embarrassment of a Rich Guy: Over the past week or so, the Donald became even more of a laughing stock than he already was, and this video explains it nicely:

The "John Miller/John Barron/Joey Pepperoni" thing might seem like a lightweight one-week story at first...but it's so weird and easy to make fun of that I think it might just stick. And if Trump is regularly demonstrated to be a joke in addition to being dangerous and dumb, the term "landslide" might not properly describe what Hillary will subject him to this fall.

Also, here is Clinton's web ad taking aim at Trump's tax returns. With a nice assist from Romney, I believe this will continue to be a very potent line of attack in the next six months:

But...But...the Polls Are Tightening!!: Meh. You've heard this a lot from me already and you're going to keep hearing it over and over: It's fun to look at reputable polls, but what's going to decide this race is some basic fundamentals.

Will Democrats stick with the Democratic nominee (Clinton) against Trump? I have no doubt.

Will Democrats turn out in numbers similar to what we saw in '08 and '12? Most likely.

Have the nation's demographics shifted even more in the Democrats' favor since then? Yes.

One big question left is whether or not independents will lean left, right, or roughly split. But that will probably only determine the margin of Clinton's victory, as Obama lost indies in 2012 and still did just fine.

The media will be pushing the idea of a close horserace whenever possible. I say, just ignore their noise and keep fighting on with confidence every day until we win.

Twists & Turns in Clinton VP Talk: Hmm, maybe it won't be Julián Castro after all? He isn't even mentioned in today's speculation from USA Today:
Hillary Clinton is considering a running mate who could make a direct appeal to supporters of Bernie Sanders, bridging a generational and political divide, according to four people close to the campaign.
Clinton’s chief requirements include a candidate’s resume and a fighter capable of hand-to-hand combat with Trump. The campaign’s vetting also prioritizes demographics over someone from a key swing state as she seeks to unify the Democratic voting base, said the individuals coordinating with the campaign, who were not authorized to speak on the record about early deliberations.
Some of the names mentioned include Representative Xavier Becerra (Los Angeles), Senator Chris Murphy (CT) and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Then again, this story also appeared today in Politico:
Targeted by progressive activists hoping to kill his chances of being Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Julián Castro is set this week to announce changes to a hot-button Housing and Urban Development program to sell bad mortgages on its books....
Castro’s actions could potentially defuse an issue that activists have been using to question his progressive credentials — and he’ll be doing it at the moment the running mate search has begun to get serious at Clinton campaign headquarters.
To be clear, stories like this will be fun for a couple of months but they are essentially meaningless and possibly full of false flags. No one should have any doubt that Clinton's eventually choice will be meticulously vetted, incredibly well thought-out and generally terrific.

Personally, I'm still sticking with "Hillary/Julián 2016" for now, mostly because they look great together and their first names are positively musical when put side-by-side.


  1. Thank you so much for a calm, reasoned optimistic article. Even my favorite blogs are downing in angst these days.

  2. At this point, Hillary has a bigger margin in the RCP polling average than Obama did in 2008 and 2016. And she'll definitely get a boost once she clinches the nomination and Obama/Warren/Biden endorse her.

    1. ...and Sanders!

      Yes, I think she will get quite a convention boost. Bigger than most people expect.

  3. For v.p. I think Klobuchar, Franken, Warren, Patrick, Booker, Kaine, Becarra, Castro, Perez would all be good choices. Not sure if Warren wants it. I think Warren and Castro would be the more exciting choices. I can see Hillary going with Becarra, though. He's a solid choice with experience and a wonderful bio - son of immigrants.


      Can you imagine?

  4. it was strange that Sanders decided to go after Julian, he doesn't make the policies, seemed to me like he wanted to prevent him from being considered, but maybe it wasn't so bad. He's announcing a change that can't be from him, it must be from Obama, and the timing may be right.

    This is what I had wanted from Bernie's before he became just awful. I wanted him to give her cover for her leftie positions by demanding much more. He was not driving her policies, which were already there, I knew them, we talked about her leftie stuff before he jumped in, he was just running her down, but still the 12 buck federal minimum wage could look like a moderate proposal because of Bernie's 15 buck one, might make it easier to pass 12 bucks, and his isn't tied to CPI, so hers is more progressive, and hers adds that no laws can prevent municipalities from raising the minimum wage higher than the federal floor, which anticipated North Carolina and is also more progressive than bernie's, but less obvious.

    By law anyone can purchase the debt, so I guess Obama is adding something that prevents institutions that were complicit in making the bad loans from profiting from them, probably like not being able to profit from a crime, probably an executive order. And if so that could mean Bernie finally did something worthwhile. I am shocked. Glad to be shocked.