Trump has two big problems in 2020: Pennsylvania and Michigan ...
Educated suburbanites, who are benefiting nicely from the strong economy, nevertheless turned in droves against Trump’s Republican Party. Their revolt was driven by their dislike for the president personally, and it dragged down Republicans at all levels of government wherever these voters dominated. Trump’s job approval ratings remain mired around 43 percent despite the great economic news, suggesting these voters aren’t changing their minds. ...
The good news for Trump is in Wisconsin and Iowa. Wisconsin has boomed under Trump; its unemployment rate in February was a mere 3.3 percent. Iowa, meanwhile, was even lower at 2.7 percent. Both states have also seen a manufacturing renaissance, experiencing a significant uptick in the number of those coveted blue-collar jobs since January 2017. It should be no surprise, then, that these states were where Republicans performed relatively well in the midterms, with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds winning reelection and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker narrowly losing. Trump’s job approval ratings in the exit polls were also relatively high in Wisconsin at 48 percent, about three points higher than his national standing at the time.
Michigan and Pennsylvania, however, are not sharing in the national gains quite so much. Their unemployment rates are above the national average, and rates are even higher in the regions that propelled Trump to victory. In Pennsylvania, for example, that’s the regions of Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Johnstown and Williamsport. Their unemployment rates all remain at or above 5 percent as of February. That’s down a point or so from when Trump took office, but it’s not “great again” either. It’s probably not a surprise, then, that Republicans didn’t mount a serious challenge for either major statewide race, lost four House seats in the midterms, and won another three seats with less than 52 percent of the vote. A recent Emerson poll also shows that Trump would lose Pennsylvania by 10 points to either former vice president Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
But these economic figures are positively rosy compared to those in Michigan. As in Pennsylvania, Trump’s margin was large swings in blue-collar areas such as Flint, Saginaw and Bay City. He was the first Republican presidential candidate to carry either Saginaw County or Bay County since President Ronald Reagan in 1984. But these counties’ economies have barely improved from January 2017 to this year, with unemployment rates dropping only about a point from a shade higher than 6 percent to a bit more than 5 percent. Again, an improvement, but not a boom.
The situation is much worse in non-metropolitan Michigan. These areas, mainly in the northern “thumb” and the Upper Peninsula, gave Trump his largest swings over Mitt Romney’s percentages in 2012. These areas more than anywhere fueled his narrow 11,000-vote victory. But their economies have gotten worse, not better, since Trump took office. In January 2017, non-metro Michigan had a 6.8 percent unemployment rate. In February 2019, that rate is now at 7 percent.
Ohio swing voters crave Obama
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Ohio voters who have flipped between parties in past presidential elections and supported Donald Trump in 2016 now say their first choice in 2020 is ... Barack Obama.
Why it matters: Obama isn't running. And none of the 18 Democrats actually running have broken through in rural Ohio as the antidote to President Trump.
This is the biggest takeaway from an Engagious/Focus Pointe Global focus group I watched last week. The group included 12 swing voters, half of whom voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and then flipped to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and half of whom went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.
Yes, but: It's only April, so the Democrats running will have plenty of time to change voters' minds in places like this. But these swing voters' desire to rebuke Trump by voting for his predecessor shows the long road ahead for 2020 Democrats hoping to break through in some parts of the Midwest.Five of the six Obama/Trump voters would pick Obama if he could run again in 2020. Among the reasons: Obama is "more of a diplomatic person," as one participant put it; another said he's "more intellectual."
Another common refrain: "I think this country needs a sense of calmness," said Brenda R., a 62-year-old Obama/Trump voter.
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I don't know how I feel about that Axios piece. As a matter of politics, I am increasingly convinced that a Democratic candidate spending significant time and resources in Ohio is wasting their time. There's just a whole lot of non-college white males, evangelicals, and bunker-mentality white suburbanites. The fact that swing voters (who will probably end up voting for Trump) there most want to vote for someone who is constitutionally ineligible for the office sort of illustrates my point.
"There's no play here. There's no angle. There's no champagne room. I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor. The math on this is simple; the smaller the mess, the easier it is for me to clean up." -Michael Clayton
Real Clear Politics
Ranked-Choice Voting = Super Saturday in Alaska, Hawaii ...
That’s where RCV comes in. If last-place primary finishers in Hawaii or Alaska fall below the Democrats’ 15% threshold of support necessary to earn delegates, they would be eliminated. Their voters would have their votes count for their next choice. This process would continue until all candidates have at least 15%, when delegates would then be allocated on a proportional basis as required by Democratic Party rules. Running RCV down to the final two would show who really has earned bragging rights as the state’s majority winner.
RCV holds the potential to re-create our politics. Suppose you like Cory Booker, are intrigued by Pete Buttigeig and Kamala Harris, would settle for Joe Biden, and oppose Sanders. Do you cast your ballot for Booker even if the real battle seems between Harris and Sanders? With RCV, you could back Booker first, Mayor Pete second, Harris third and Biden fourth. If your top choices fall short of earning delegates, your vote isn’t wasted.
If you back Elizabeth Warren, but prefer Sanders over Biden, simply rank your ballot accordingly. Voters are free to cast a statement vote, for example, in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate crusade, without worrying that backing a long shot means losing your chance to pick the top of the ticket. Rank all women. Or all moderates. Or all progressives. The choice is yours -- as it should be.
The Democrats’ requirement that a candidate earn 15 percent of votes to receive delegates may be particularly problematic in 2020. If actual primaries mirrored recent polls, only Biden and Sanders would win delegates and nearly half of voters’ choices effectively wouldn’t count.
The fractured primary field helps explain other expected uses of RCV. Democrats require early voting in caucus states, and those early voters will likely cast RCV ballots in two of the first three contests: Nevada and Iowa. RCV ensures more people can participate by voting early without losing the power that caucus attendees have to move to their second choice if their first choice can’t win delegates.
Tampa Bay Times
Florida Insider Poll: Pennsylvania, not Florida, will be THE swing state in 2020
And the rest of the Midwest is looking pretty important, too.
Florida is typically the crown jewel of presidential elections. With its shifting make up and divided politics, there’s endless speculation every four years over where its 29 electoral college votes will fall.
Perhaps not as much in 2020, though.
Rather, Pennsylvania is more likely to determine the county’s fate, according to a majority of Florida’s sharpest political minds polled in the Tampa Bay Times monthly Florida Insider survey.
More than 70 percent of the 175 campaign operatives, fundraisers, political scientists and other veteran politicos polled said Pennsylvania will be more important than Florida in 2020.
Why Pennsylvania? President Donald Trump was victorious there in 2016. It marked the first time a Republican put the Keystone State in the win column since 1988. Democrats, though, won the governorship there two years later.
And though its population is shrinking, it still has 20 electoral college votes, a hefty haul for either party.
Trump camp descends on Pennsylvania as alarms grow over 2020
The president’s team is set to meet with a state Republican Party riven by dissension.
Senior Trump 2020 advisers are headed to Harrisburg on Wednesday to meet with Pennsylvania GOP officials amid mounting concerns about the president’s prospects in the critical battleground state.
Trump's campaign is moving to shore up the state after 2018 midterm elections that saw Republicans get blown out in races up and down the ballot. Compounding the situation is a state party organization riven by turmoil and infighting.
The private meeting, confirmed by a half-dozen party officials, underscores the high stakes for the president in the state. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1 percentage point in 2016, and reelection aides view the state’s 20 electoral votes as crucial to his 2020 hopes. Pennsylvania also has symbolic significance: In 2016, Trump geared his campaign toward the state’s large proportion of blue-collar voters, many of whom had traditionally voted Democratic.
The Trump contingent is expected to include political director Chris Carr, who is orchestrating the campaign’s national field deployment, as well as Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, who are overseeing outreach to delegates and state party organizations. Republican National Committee officials are also expected to attend.
The meeting is the first of what Trump aides say will be a series of visits to battleground states. The fact that Pennsylvania is the first stop underscores the state’s importance, they say — and the level of concern about it.
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No, no, and no. While everything you say is true, the Indivisible groups worked furiously in Ohio and almost swung OH 12, by the third largest percentage in the country. Yes, we lost, and it wasn't enough. But our candidate Danny O'Connor had coattails and we elected 6 new D women to the Statehouse in and around Franklin County (Columbus.) Ohio is not beyond hope.fierceredpanda wrote: ↑Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:37 amI don't know how I feel about that Axios piece. As a matter of politics, I am increasingly convinced that a Democratic candidate spending significant time and resources in Ohio is wasting their time. There's just a whole lot of non-college white males, evangelicals, and bunker-mentality white suburbanites. The fact that swing voters (who will probably end up voting for Trump) there most want to vote for someone who is constitutionally ineligible for the office sort of illustrates my point.
At least the Dem candidates will pay attention to Ohio. There are still a lot of D votes to be harvested here, especially since Trump's promises of coal and manufacturing jobs coming back were so much hot air.
A letter to the editor from that piece :
If you voted for Trump, you are not allowed to call yourself a democrat. You also aren't allowed to call yourself a patriot, a christian, or a decent human being because you are none of those things."
The "water bear" is the first creature to live on the moon.
Dallas Morning News
Is Texas a swing state in 2020? President Donald Trump's campaign spokesman says no
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Texas is “not a swing state” in the 2020 election, the communications director for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said on Friday.
That confident projection was shared during a roundtable discussion Trump campaign officials hosted for members of the Regional Reporters Association at the president’s re-election headquarters just across the Potomac River from Washington.
The spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, didn’t elaborate much, other than to say that he and other officials “like Texas.”
“We’ve been hearing for 20 years that there’s the great Democrat hope in Texas,” Murtaugh said skeptically.
The campaign’s bullish position certainly reflects political history in Texas, where a Democratic presidential candidate has not carried the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and where a Democrat has not won any statewide office since 1994.
But it runs counter to some recent polling, along with Democratic gains made in the state last year and the views of even some key Republicans in Texas.
Vox - Dylan Scott
Trump is really unpopular in the most important 2020 battleground states
Trump is deep underwater in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other key 2020 states.
As he seeks a second term in the 2020 election, President Trump should be able to lean on his advantage in the Electoral College — in 2016, as you might remember, he lost the national popular vote but won enough states (and the right states) to secure 270 electors and take the presidency.
But new polling of his state-by-state approval ratings suggests the president is unpopular in some of the most important battleground states for 2020, an ill omen if the trends hold until Election Day 2020. ...
Here are the raw numbers for Trump in the states that are expected to be competitive in the 2020 election:
New Hampshire: 39 percent approval, 58 percent disapproval
Wisconsin: 42 percent approval, 55 percent disapproval
Michigan: 42 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval
Iowa: 42 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval
Arizona: 45 percent approval, 51 percent disapproval
Pennsylvania 45 percent approval, 52 percent disapproval
Ohio: 46 percent approval, 50 percent disapproval
North Carolina: 46 percent approval, 50 percent disapproval
Florida: 48 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval
Indiana: 49 percent approval, 46 percent disapproval
New York Times
Tariff Fight Reveals Republican Divisions in Up-for-Grabs Arizona
CHANDLER, Ariz. — President Trump’s rancorous dispute with Mexico over tariffs and the border energized some Republicans and rattled others around the country last week.
But in few places were the stakes as high as in Arizona, once as reliably Republican as it can get, now increasingly up for grabs. And the reactions played out like a preview of the divisions the party could face in presidential politics and a key Senate race in 2020.
Arizona’s Chamber of Commerce, a proxy for the Republican establishment, predicted devastation if tariffs were placed on Mexican imports such as fruits and vegetables. Grass-roots Trump supporters — who are often at odds with the business community — stuck with the president. ...
Once staunchly Republican, many Chandler precincts were colored purple on a map of last year’s midterms. Swing voters helped elect Democrats to the United States Senate, the secretary of state’s office and, for the first time in the city’s memory, the State Legislature.
Now, both parties believe that Arizona, which Mr. Trump won by about 90,000 votes, or 3.5 percentage points, is in play in the 2020 presidential race. Who wins will come down, in no small part, to places like Chandler, with its well-educated independent voters.
Addie wrote: ↑Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:15 amNew York Times
So this means we can't run Biden, right, because "everybody" agrees that it's good for 45. The same way we can't impeach, because "it's a trap" and 45 wants it. The same way we can't run on universal health care, or higher taxes on the rich, or gun safety, or getting children out of cages, because it will rile up 45's base.Trump Needs a Target to Stay Interested in His Campaign. For Now, It’s Biden.
Have I got that right? It's so confusing being a progressive these days.
No matter where you go, there you are!
I think the short answer is that our election system is one ungodly, anachronistic mess. It works if there is a clear choice like in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections but as has been shown 3 times this century it breaks and tends to subvert the will of the people when it is close. Part of the problem is that it is easily manipulated because a small handful of states get to pick the nominees and the final winner then there are built in flaws like voting on a Tuesday instead of a weekend.Foggy wrote: ↑Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:59 pmThis highlights a serious problem with the primary/caucus schedule, because if you lose Iowa and New Hampshire, you are pretty much out of the race. People stop donating to your campaign, and the MSM writes you off, even though at that point, basically only white people have voted.
If there's some rational reason why Iowa and New Hampshire should always go first, I'm unaware of it. Who gives a crap about Dix Notch or whatever it is?
"“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Heather Heyer, November 2016
Heather Heyer, November 2016
Trump campaign manager predicts swing-state wins, 'electoral landslide' in 2020
President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager predicted in an interview with CBS News that the president would win multiple swing states, including at least three he lost in 2016, if the presidential election were held this week.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign chief, said the president would win Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada if the election were held this week. All eight are considered to be up for grabs, to varying degrees, in 2020 and the latter three were all won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. and Trump won Florida by 1.2 percentage points and North Carolina by 3.6 points.
Minnesota, a state Clinton won in 2016 by 1.5 points, is “right there at the margin of error,” Parscale said. “I think that’s a state we have to fight for.”
The comments came ahead of Trump’s rally in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday and were released in full on Friday, the same day Quinnipiac University released a poll that showed Trump trailing both former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in prospective general election matchups.
In South Carolina, Biden is Democrats' top choice
Joe Biden is the top choice for his party's nomination among South Carolina Democrats, according to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker. But Democratic voters in the Palmetto are considering other candidates too. And this is true of African Americans as well, who could make up 60% of the electorate in the state's primary next year.
Republicans are facing an early headache of nightmare primary fights as they plot to keep control of the Senate.
In Alabama and Kansas, two deep-red states that should be safe GOP seats, the party is facing bids from conservatives Roy Moore and Kris Kobach, respectively, who are viewed as unelectable in a general election and have a history of stealing the national spotlight.
Republicans say they feel good about their chances to hold onto the chamber in 2020 — when they will be playing defense in mostly red territory — but bloody fights in those two states could help widen Democrats’ path back to the majority.
A GOP operative watching the Senate races who is “cautiously optimistic” about Republicans keeping the majority, warned that Republicans can’t “afford to play games” by potentially nominating a candidate with baggage that compromises their ability to win in November.
“We don’t need to be having any problems, it’s not a state we can stumble in. The map for the majority is OK, but if you have to start diverting resources to Kansas it complicates things,” the operative said, adding that Alabama is also viewed as a “must-win state.”
I almost don't want to post this. I ran across it by chance this morning. Unless you want to feel bad, don't read it. I will post a few on-topic snips about battlegrounds.
The Atlantic - Ronald Brownstein (Nov 10 2016): How the Rustbelt Paved Trump's Road to Victory
The president-elect won by locking in support from traditional “blue wall” states Hillary Clinton thought were in her corner. ...
By dislodging Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and possibly Michigan, Trump shattered the blue wall—the 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) with 242 Electoral College votes that had voted Democratic in at least each election since 1992. If Clinton had defended the blue wall through the Rustbelt, she would have won, because the four diverse Sunbelt battlegrounds (Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada) that she captured would have pushed her past an Electoral College majority. Yet even with her wins in those four states, Clinton ultimately stumbled between the party’s past and future: While Trump toppled heavily blue-collar Rustbelt states that stand as the last monuments to the Democrats’ earlier working-class-based coalition, Tuesday made clear the party’s new coalition of minorities and white-collar whites has not yet grown large enough to reliably hold behemoth Sunbelt battlegrounds such as Florida and North Carolina (much less Arizona or Georgia), especially against a Republican surge in those states’ own substantial blue-collar and non-urban populations.
The result is a genuine hinge point in American history, as consequential as it was unanticipated. If Clinton had won, and swept in a Democratic Senate, the party would have obtained a Supreme Court majority for the first time since 1971. Instead, Republicans can now reinforce the conservative Court majority for years ahead.
In fact, the GOP will now control all the key levers of power in Washington. It will have the capacity to uproot many of Obama’s signature achievements, including his health-care and climate-change plans and Iranian nuclear deal. Democrats will be completely excluded from power, even though it appears likely they will have won the popular vote for the sixth time in the past seven presidential elections, a streak unmatched since the modern party system began in 1828.
On issues from immigration to criminal-justice reform to gay rights, both Obama and Clinton have unreservedly linked their party to the priorities of an increasingly diverse and urbanized America. But that coalition could not quite match the surge from an older preponderantly white America that appeared to many (including me) too narrow to win the White House any longer. A slim Trump victory driven by voters who feared that America’s best days are in the past has now plunged the nation into a bracingly uncertain future.
Early contests by the numbers: Democratic delegate race tightens — CBS News Battleground Tracker
While Joe Biden continues to lead all Democratic candidates across early states in the presidential nominating process, his previously large advantage has shrunk since June, according to the latest estimates from the CBS News Battleground Tracker poll and delegate model.
While poll percentages in each state often attract attention, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is ultimately a fight for delegates at the party's national convention next July. The party is set to seat 3,768 delegates at the convention in Milwaukee, and a candidate needs to win at least 1,885 delegates to win the nomination.
We estimate that Biden currently has 581 delegates in the nominating contests through Super Tuesday, which is considerably fewer than his estimate last month. This is based on our model, which translates voter preferences into district- and state-level estimates, taking into account Democratic party allocation rules. Delegates are given out proportionally to top finishers in each district and statewide.
Latino votes could swing the Democratic primary. And the candidates know it.
For the first time, Latino elected officials and voters are getting a real full-court press from presidential hopefuls — because they might pick the nominee. ...
"Nevada is the early state that most reflects what what the rest of the country really looks like," Cancela said in an interview at a hipster coffee shop just outside her district Friday — the day before she was scheduled to campaign with Biden here.
Specifically, it's the first state on the primary calendar with a mix of white, black and Hispanic voters, and it figures to have even more importance than usual as both a potential bellwether and influencer in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
For the first time, Latino elected officials and voters — here, and in other key primary states — are getting a real full-court press from Democratic contenders during the early stages of the primary process. The reason for the shift is simple: this time around, they could play a much more prominent role in picking the nominee.
Depending on how the race unfolds, Latinos might even end up being the key to the contest.
That's a function mostly of heavily Hispanic states, including California and Texas, moving up on the primary calendar at the same time that the chances for a protracted, delegate-by-delegate fight among several candidates appear to be more likely than ever. The possibility of African American voters splitting among several candidates for the first time in several presidential primary cycles also raises the stakes for candidates in trying to get an edge with Latino voters.
That's where Jacob Wohl gets his opinion polling, not NBC News.... a hipster coffee shop ...
Any time my questions are all fully answered, I know I'm asking the wrong questions. - Bernard Samson