Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2016 Primaries - One More Stop Then the Final Stretch.

Hey!  Sorry for the delay but I've had other things to deal with.  First, let's get last week underway.]

A week ago today Bernie Sanders won in West Virginia. While it's not a big number in terms of delegates it did show momentum and that counting him out now may be a little bit premature.  Today however are the primaries in Kentucky and Oregon.  The former state appears to be rough for both Hillary Clinton and Sanders though there have been some prediction of a narrow Clinton win. 

As for Oregon, it appears that momentum and the polls favor Sanders.  Add automatic voter registration into the mix and there's a possible move that could benefit Sanders.  However, many of those automatically registered are unaffiliated or didn't register as Democrats in time, which means they can't vote in the Oregon primary election.  This makes things more difficult but it doesn't count him out yet.

What is telling is these are the last primary elections until June 7th when six states (including California) are up for grabs, followed by Washington, DC a week later.  Now we're getting to the point where superdelegates are going to have their role as the convention nears. 

What does that have to do with today?  In terms of pledged delegates Sanders still has 1,433 compared to Clinton's 1716.  The chances of Sanders blowing out Clinton is increasingly slim, meaning that every state has to count.  Once June rolls around, superdelegates will be an issue to be factored in so the path is getting more nad more narrow.  That doesn't mean it's all over but it is becoming an uphill climb. 

As for the state convention in Nevada where tensions between Clinton delegates and Sanders delegates got ugly., the overall stretch was only a couple of delegates but video of some of the voice votes shows a ton of tension between sides that is going to have to be dealt with before the convention.  While Clinton won in Nevada the support of those backing Bernie still has to be earned and shouldn't be assumed to be a given.  That goes with any politician and I would say the same if Sanders had won and there was tension towards them from Clinton supporters. 

While I have an idea what might happen I feel that a clearer picture won't happen until June.  Because of that I'm still holding to the line that anything can happen and this election cycle has showed us not to assume anything is a given.

As for those asking about the GOP side.  Donald Drumpf, I mean trump, should just admit that he was John Miller in that tape pretending to be a PR person for the Donald.  He already apologized for it back in 1991 so denying it's him is even more ridiculous than usual so admit it and move on. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

From Indiana to West Virginia

Hey!  Sorry for the delay.  I was getting a print issue done and I had some housesitting over the weekend.  Also, like many of you I was trying to absorb what happened. 

A week ago today Indiana held primary elections for the Presidential race.  On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders beat former Sen. (and former Sec. of State) Hillary Clinton 53%-47% (actually 52.7 to 47.3, but general rounding applies).  While this proved that Bernie Sanders still has some momentum and shouldn't be counted out yet, the real shake up was in the GOP race. 

Yes, I'm talking about presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Drumpf, I mean trump.

Trump was expected to win last week but few were expecting the aftermath.  For Ted Cruz, who called Indiana his "firewall" it was the writing on the wall.  Just after the election Cruz suspended his campaign, followed the next morning by John Kasich.  This was shocking given that I thought for sure Kasich would've left the race before the Cubadian.  In less than 24 hours a three person race dropped to just the Donald alone.  Since then the mainstream media has been trying to claim that Drumpf is acting more presidential but his habit of flip flopping and saying what he thinks the crowd wants to hear is still problematic as he heads towards the general election.

This leads us to today's primary in West Virginia.  While polls show Sanders ahead of Clinton, WV is one of those states whose Democratic party has received funds from the Clinton campaign.  While a few voices in the wilderness are concerned about fraud, it could go either way.  With only 29 delegates at stake a victory here is a slow burn more than an obvious attack so it might be more of a victory for morale as the Democrats head towards the convention in July. 

Still, some of the media is asking Sanders to drop out and let Clinton focus on Drumpf, I mean trump. However, I remember one of the blurbs at an early debate was Hillary Clinton telling Bernie Sanders that the President has to focus on more than one thing at a time.  Thus, she should be able to handle both Bernie Sanders and Drumpf. 

In any case, the shake up has brought more clarity and still shows that things are not carved in stone yet.  We're still have a while until the general.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Indiana Wants (insert candidate name here). Or At Least It Will Tomorrow

Hey!  My apologies for slacking off a bot on the primary commentaries lately.  Between personal issues and the wi fi connection being slower than usual it hasn't been so easy to post these as I'd like.  The Indiana primary is tomorrow and we'll get to that but let's first discuss last week.

Last Tuesday primary elections were held in Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.  For the Republicans Donald Drumpf, excuse me Trump, won all five states - making his quest for the GOP nomination way closer to reality than anybody thought last year.  As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton kept up a 300-350 pledged delegate lead over Bernie Sanders by winning four of the five states (Sanders won Rhode Island).  While it appears more likely that Clinton will snare the Democratic Party nomination, a still narrow path exists for Sanders to make sure it's not a slam dunk. 

Along with the primary results last week were the usual cries in the media that Sanders should drop out and let Clinton focus on Trump.  Overlooking the fact that a President has to focus on more than one thing, such calls seem to ignore the fact that in 2008 Clinton stayed in the race until June and reportedly dropped out several days after the last primary.  With a couple of larger states up ahead (most notably California), this might still be a competitive race of sorts. 

Which leads us to Indiana tomorrow.  It is a tight race for Clinton and Sanders, according to the polls.  However, polls also have Drumpf away ahead of Ted Cruz.  So, at a the when one party may further solidify its grip with one candidate, the other side is still in anything can happen.

I wish I had more to say about this.  But time will tell on this one. 

What is the case if the primary race is getting increasingly closer to the point where superdelegates will begin to have some clout.  While much of the mainstream media has counted them since the start, I have avoided doing so given that they can change their pledge anytime between now and the Democratic Convention later this summer.  Because of this, it was disingenous to count them when they usually weren't counted in the past. However, as the race winds down it's getting to the point when their pledges will be of more relevance.  Odds are they'll go with the popular vote at the Convention but who knows at this time.

Get ready for the last few primaries.  It's going to still be a long ride until November.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Primary Blather- Post NY Stateof MInd and What Next.

Hey!  Sorry it took so long to get back to this but I've been busy with other things in my life.

First, the New York primary was Tuesday and the media expectation of who would win was fulfilled with Donald Drumpf, I mean Trump, winning the Republican primary and Hillary Clinton breaking Bernie Sanders' momentum of winning eight of the last nine races for the Democrats.  Admittedly, a closed primary is be more beneficial to Clinton, especially one where people have to register with a party six months in advance of the actual primary election.  We;ll get to that later but first let's look at this Tuesday.

There are five primaries coming up this Tuesday (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Delaware).  All are closed primaries, which means that if Clinton sweeps all five of them, she can further set back Bernie Sanders and make the path to the nomination even harder to overcome.  Clinton and Trump are leading in Pennsylvania but, as we've learned in this race up to this point, it's foolish to assume anything is certain. 

Which leads to reports of closed polling places and people showing up to find themselves either registered as another party or not listed last Tuesday.  While such reports of making things harder for people who wish to vote is always annoying, it's especially annoying when a state has six months to make sure things run smoothly.  190 days to know who is with what party shouldn't have those mistakes.  Add to this the 120,000 plus people purged from the polls suddenly and it's easy to see something is fucked up. 

Now, if you're a Clinton supporter reading this, it's easy to dismiss it as sour grapes from Bernie Sanders supporters and his campaign.  However, just because these flaws and errors benefit your candidate this time, what's to keep these same tricks form being used against you when you vote in the general. 

In New York there are claims that an investigation will take place.If so, it must be done as soon as possible ad transparently so that we can get to the bottom of this before November, not after the votes have been counted.

As for the states ahead.  Sanders is down but not out.  Thanks to the delegate conventions in several states, he only trails Clinton by 240 or so delegates  (1202 to 1446 according to the NY Times, not including superdelegates).  While closed primaries will be a fly in his ointment, they don't guarantee Hillary Clinton the nomination yet. With 1,668 pledged delegates still up for grabs, a lot can happen.

As for the Republicans, Donald Drumpf, I mean Trump, continues his path the the nomination.  However, he also finds himself dealing with state GOP primaries trying to make sure there are enough delegates for Cruz or Kasich to make a brokered convention.   While the push to be more extreme continues to be overlooked by the mainstream media it does show the general public a scary path as the election nears this fall.

While we have a vague idea of what could happen on tuesday via polls et al, one thing will remain.  The path to November continues and we're probably going to be sick of it all by the time the general election happens. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

CORRECTION on the Last Post

In the original version of the previous post I incorrectly noted that the New York primary was being held today.  It actually will be next week on Tuesday April 19.

While the error has been corrected I want to apologize for that rookie mistake.  I also want to say that its easy to assume such given all the mainstream media hoopla that almost completely overlooked Wyoming in its wake.  Obviously New York is going to get a lot of media coverage due to its population size.  However, I do wonder if some of the media hype is based on the fact that NYC is one of the media and news centers of the country, thus making it extremely easy to examine. 

Hope this clears everything up,  Sorry about that.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

That Was The Primary Week That Was - Next up New York!!!

Sorry for the delay.  I've been a little distracted so let's get to it.

First, on the Democratic side Bernie Sanders won the primaries in Wisconsin last Tuesday and Wyoming yesterday by a relatively good margin.  While they may not radically change the delegate count (they were divided even between him and Hillary Clinton in WY), it does keep the momentum moving for the road ahead.

Meanwhile, Wyoming seemed to be all but overlooked as New York's primary approaches on Tuesday April19.  It is here that the campaign is really starting to look like an election campaign.  With the media hyping up some stumbles Bernie Sanders gave in an interview to the New York Daily News editorial board that the mainstream press has hyped as a failure, some reports have suggested that it may not be as much of a disaster as the corporate owned media making it out to be with even one eyewitness account giving a more nuanced picture of what actually occurred.

Add to this the implication over Sanders' qualifications to be President from the Clinton campaign and Sanders' own response (which brought up her Super PAC receiving money from Wall Street as well as her vote for the Iraq war in 2003 as examples) and the race is looking like a political fight.  And there's a reason for this,

The New York primary offers 291 delegates for the Democrats.  Sanders needs to, if not win outright, get a significant chunk to keep momentum going.  Clinton has to win big to try and knock the wind out of the momentum Sanders has from his last seven victories.  There's currently a 250 delegate count between them (because superdelegates can change their pledge between now and the Convention, I have left them out of the count) and NY can push Sanders back a bit. 

However, delegates are still awarded proportionately here so it's not winner take all.  This means that, while Clinton can knock Sanders' stride back, it doesn't guarantee her the nomination.  Add to this Sanders having the money to keep going until damn close to the Convention and the race continues.

But what's it like for the Republicans?

According to polls Donald Drumpf, I mean Donald trump, has a double digit lead over ted Cruz and John Kasich.  Being a native New Yorker will be an advantage (just as Cruz' use of the term "new York values" as a smear will likely work against him). However, only 91 delegates are at stake here and Trump's recent comments over nuclear weapons have drawn some controversy.  Add to this an CNN/ORC poll stating that 73% of women have a negative view of Trump as well as similar negative views in other polls and things are looking slippery for him, especially if he gets the nomination. 

Ironically, this doesn't mean that Cruz or Kasich are any better.  Kasich's moderate spin hides a very conservative streak and Cruz is even worse than Drumpf on a number of issues.  However, with trump leading in polls among NY Republican primary voters he isn't out yet. 

Also worth noting for both parties is that New York has a closed primary system in which only registered members of either party can vote in said primary.  This will likely benefit both Clinton and trump though leave a lot of voters in the cold.

Still, while there are hints of what could happen it will be hard to see clearly until the numbers are counted.  Either way there's still seven months to go before the general and between SuperPACs, negative ads, and voter suppression attempts, chances are many of us will be begging for it to be over by the time the first Tuesday in November starts.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Springtime Primary Breather - Updates and Whatnot

Hey!  I know it's a few days late but I've been busy dealing with other things just like everybody else.  Since there was a breather of sorts in terms of the primary race it can be viewed as kind of like Spring Break - a chance to step back and unplug.  But since there were three caucuses last Saturday,it's back to the grind.

First, last Saturday clearly belonged to Sen.; Bernie Sanders with his wins in Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington.  While a lot of these wins for either Sanders of Hillary Clinton may be by a couple of points, these stand out because they were big wins.  How big?  In Washington State, Sanders won every county.  While Clinton still has more delegates, Sanders currently stands at wither 980 (according to AP) or 1,038 (according to Five Thirty Eight).  This is in part due to how delegates are chosen in Washington state (where some are chosen after the vote according to some sources).  Regardless, this should've made the corporate owned media take notice. 

However, it was Easter weekend and since the GOP didn't have a caucus or election of some sort (thus allowing the pundits to further give Donald Drumpf [a/k/a: Trump] unnecessary press)  they pretty much gave it little notice.  Sadly this isn't surprising but shows the mainstream less interested i telling what actually happened and more into entertainment. 

Where does this leave the race.  The Wisconsin primary is next Tuesday (April 5).  Being an open primary, that can be good news for Sanders.  It's also a primary for both the Democrats and the Republicans with the big news on the GOP being WI Gov. Scott Walker endorsing Ted Cruz. 

Since I haven't seen a ton of news regarding Wisconsin, it could be anyone's guess what happens, though I have a feeling voter suppression will rear it's ugly twisted head in this go round for some reason. 

Meanwhile, Clinton and Sanders are beginning to focus on New York (the NY primary is April 19 with 247 delegates up for grabs).  Sanders has challenged Clinton to a debate, but Hillary Clinton has refused., calling it a stunt.  Personally, I think a debate would be a good thing to see who the better candidate will be (ironically, in 2008 Sen. Clinton said a candidate should be willing "to debate anywhere, anytime").  However, as Clinton campaign officials have complained about Bernie's tone, accusing Sanders of running negative campaign ads they seem adamant about not doing it. 

As springtime fully takes hold, one thing is certain.  It's going to be a long seven months intil the election.