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The most important races of 2018: Part 2

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The most important races of 2018 Part 2

This article on the 2018 election will largely focus on which races impact political parties and movements the most. In Part 1, the races that were deemed most important were determined on their ability to put fourth strong candidates whether conservative or liberal. And so we saw a lot of Senate races such as the Missouri Senate race that has has the chance to send the next Rand Paul to DC. This is a more difficult metric to explain. Part 2 has a greater focus on races that will impact elections to come. Consequentially, we will see fewer Senate races than in Part 1 and more gubernatorial races. Part 2 focuses more on local control and state party ambitions that ultimately effect national party politics.

Governor – Maryland

While Maryland is a deep blue state, this race is a rare must-win for Democrats. The consequences of losing are great, potentially lasting decades. Confusing? Every ten years the US conducts a census. After 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley gerrymandered Maryland even more. And Marylanders, being uninformed, voted in favor of the redistricting in 2012. Democrats used gerrymandering to acquire a stranglehold on Maryland politics. The bicameral state legislature are two glorified houses, as the Maryland Senate isn’t actually a Senate. Maryland, I would argue, is the most gerrymandered state in the country.

No, Maryland is not the most gerrymandered state. There is ...

Maryland congressional districts however are designed to maintain this stranglehold mixing different regions into the same district just to limit Republicans to D-1 which they made more Republican. Governor Hogan won the governorship in 2014 on a limited issues campaign. Marylanders didn’t want to knowingly vote for continued increase in taxes. Larry Hogan wanted to redraw the district lines but the legislature refused him, so he needs to get reelected to have a chance at redrawing the lines or wait for the SCOTUS to act in his favor on the issue. In redrawing the lines he could not only, ungerrymander Maryland from a congressional standpoint but also from a legislative standpoint. As previously stated, the Maryland Senate is a second House of Delegates. The democrats masterfully hold a super majority in Annapolis and can override a veto. Hogan could redraw the district lines to take away this supermajority thus making Maryland a more fairly represented state. Republicans can expect at very least one Congressmen if Hogan succeeds.

In opposition, Democrats have various candidates in a slow but soon to heat up primary battle. It’s a tough race for them as Hogan is well-liked.

US Senate – West Virginia

West Virginia is a very blue collar state. Once upon a time, Democrats championed the blue collar working class. As noted by Glenn Beck, Democrats have abandoned this in favor of identity politics, a strategy that has lost them several seats. Still Virginia in 2012 reelected their likable Joe Manchin. West Virginia elected Manchin and Capito with over 60% of the vote on election day. Likability and authenticity matter in West Virginia more than other places. That being said, they love Trump there, and Manchin’s opposition to Trump puts his seat at risk.

The two most serious contenders are Evan Jenkins and Patrick Morrisey. Morrisey was Bannon-backed and has been called on by Jenkins to disavow the his support. This should be a heated primary battle but the steaks are high for both parties in this race. If the Democrats lose, it could be because their brand is so tainted on a national level. This could cost them a Senate seat for decades to come. If the Republicans win, they can more easily hold on to for decades. All it takes is authenticity and a seriously tainted Democrat brand. Democrats losing this race would signal their loss of support among regular working class people, something, if they are smart, would not want to lose.

Governor – New Hampshire

On a state level, New Hampshire is a battleground between Republicans and Democrats. During a presidential election, it narrowly votes Democratic. This battle is a test of party strength and organization. The blue patch that is the north east could see a red fungus emerge and spread to Maine and Vermont. That fungus could be New Hampshire. This race leans in favor of Chris Sununu being reelected. If successful, New Hampshire could become a red state in years to come, especially as Democrats revert to a more identity politics strategy. I would argue that identity politics is not a winning strategy in a state that is 93% white. It’s an ambitious task to make New Hampshire red but well worth it to break the Democrat monotony in the north, especially as these states are sending some of the most liberal candidates to DC.

Statewide – Texas

The Census is just around the corner and it looks like Texas stands to gain the most representation in Congress. Texas could see two or even three new representatives for the 2022 elections. In Texas, the state legislature is tasked with drawing district lines. Republicans hold firm grip on Texas, and that is unlikely to change. Governor Abbott will likely be reelected, but will Democrats make enough gains in the state legislature to disrupt the redistricting? Likely not. Still, the possibility of three new districts should make Texas a priority for Republican/ Conservative. The “Blue Wave” will likely be shortlived, if it even exists, partially due to reapportionment among states.

Statewide – Florida

In keeping with the theme discussed in Texas, Florida also stands to be the benefactor of reapportionment among states. They stand to gain one or two. In Florida, the legislature draws both the Congressional and state legislative districts. Only the Congressional lines are subject to Governor veto. Now this isn’t an argument in favor of gerrymandering. In fact, as noted by MCIMaps, Florida’s current map is more fair than the prior. But with an extra district, the question arises as to how to divide Florida’s population as evenly as possible.

2016-cp1-representation

While redistricting may not result in a GOP gain, the GOP should be invested in maintaining a swing state that Trump won especially as Democrats alienate themselves with middle America. The Democratic hold on minorities, specifically hispanics isn’t nearly as strong ballot-down as evident in D-26 and D-27. Republicans hold a key advantage and should seek invest heavily in turning this swing state red.

US Senate – Tennessee

The Washington Post published an article entitled “The Democratic Party is basically on life support in these 10 states” where it explains that the GOP dominates ten states on an extreme level. Tennessee is one of those states. The Democrats may, however, have a savior in Tennessee. As noted by NOQ’s Paige Rogers, this race is winnable for Democrats:

How popular is Phil Bredesen? He secured his second term as governor winning 100% of the counties in Tennessee. So, then, what might his odds of be at winning a Senate seat? Consider a 2011 Nashville poll. Bob Corker was currently running for re-election (2012 election cycle) to the Senate. The poll sought to weigh the odds of a hypothetical contest between the then-outgoing governor (Phil Bredesen) and the current Senator Bob Corker for Corker’s own Senate seat. The poll’s sampled voters chose Phil Bredesen over Bob Corker by 46 to 41 percent. Given voters’ overall distrust of career Republicans, a distrust to which Bob Corker undoubtedly contributed, coupled with Bredesen’s authenticity and conservative record, he may very well be the golden ticket.

Although this race also fits the metric used in Part 1, the distress the Democrats face in Tennessee makes this race important on both metrics. Democrats ought to skip the primary and throw all their chips in with Bredesen.

US Senate – North Dakota

This seat is held by Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in a state where, like Tennessee, the Democrats are also on life support. For Democrats, this seat is sort of a must win, if they want to keep a foothold in middle America and North Dakota. The GOP on the other hand would like to stick a fork in their opposition and this seat presents the best way to accomplish that in North Dakota. Heitkamp is well funded going into this race signalling that her supporters see the dire situation as well. States that voted Trump are somewhat hostile territory for liberal Senators. The GOP is much more organized and dominant on a local and state level which goes to show just how bad 2012 was for them. To Conservatives, this is one of several races to correct the Romney-Republican errors. To Democrats, it’s about not being pushed into New York and California. Heitkamp is one of their most winnable contests in Trump states come 2018 election. They really cannot afford to lose especially as the Senate is priming for Conservatives. For Democrats, this is a must win.

 

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Democrats

As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints, #MeToo fixates on the GOP

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As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints MeToo fixates on the GOP

The #MeToo movement was supposed to be about protecting and empowering women. Its origins were righteous and it delivered results. No, those origins weren’t with Alyssa Milano, though she’s become the face of the modern version of the movement. The original #MeToo movement started a decade ago. It wasn’t a hashtag. It advocated for victims.

Today’s #MeToo movement is one part women’s advocacy, nine parts political commentary against conservatives. The far left has appropriated the movement to no longer be about sexual misconduct by individuals. Instead, it’s about stopping Republicans in the upcoming election. But don’t take my word for it.

Milano, who helped bring Hollywood into the mix and did some great things a year ago to get the #MeToo movement ramped up for women, has tried to separate her #MeToo leadership role from her push for Democrats in the upcoming midterm election. These efforts have proven to be impossible. With the elections so close, she has leaned towards the latter. She hasn’t abandoned #MeToo by any means, but it’s clear her passion is for the political side of her agenda.

As such, the intermingling was inevitable even if it wasn’t intentional.

Here’s the problem. #MeToo needs her a heck of a lot more than the Democrats do. Political candidates have the resources and voice to get their message out. Milano’s reach is a drop in the bucket on the political front. For the #MeToo movement, her voice can actually make a difference, raise awareness, and inspire women to act.

Her desire to influence a few political races has drawn her away from a true calling that actually needs her voice.

You won’t see her talking about the massive USC sexual abuse incidents that have affected literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of impressionable women for decades.

Nearly 100 additional women sue USC over gynecologist’s alleged sexual misconduct

https://www.foxnews.com/us/nearly-100-additional-women-sue-usc-over-gynecologists-alleged-sexual-misconductMore than a dozen women appeared at a news conference Thursday to announce the new lawsuits on behalf of 93 women against the university, bringing the total number of accusations against Tyndall to about 500 current and former students.

“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” said Dana Loewy, who alleged that Dr. George Tyndall assaulted her during an examination in 1993.

Perhaps the worst part about Milano’s actions is that she willfully ignores abuse accusations made against Democrats. Why isn’t she calling for people to believe Sherrod Brown’s accuser? Where are the Tweets condemning Keith Ellison?

Why hasn’t she said a word about Katie Brennan?

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/15/isnt-katie-brennans-metoo-accusation-getting-national-attention/It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

Being a good Democrat has taken Milano’s focus away from the #MeToo movement. She has helped turn it into a political tool at the expense of victims whose voices are not being heard. Sadly, politicians will use her while victims slip by silently.

Politicians have turned the #MeToo movement and Alyssa Milano into their proxies. They justify it by claiming they’ll be better for women in the long run. Sadly, the real movement is suffering because people like Milano bought their sales pitch.

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Democrats

Why won’t Hillary Clinton go away?

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Why wont Hillary Clinton go away

There’s a difference between persistence and an inability to take a hint. Former Democratic darling Hillary Clinton’s persistence is becoming an annoyance for the left because she won’t take the hint. Most Democrats don’t want her around but they’re unwilling to flatly say, “Go away.”

Or, perhaps they are telling her this but enough enablers are near her filling her head with false hope.

Or, maybe she’s so emotionally lost after years of the rigors of Washington DC that delusions are preventing her from accepting her fate as a two-time presidential loser whose only electoral accomplishment was winning a Senate seat in deep-blue New York. Lest we forget, her only two other “accomplishments” were being married to a President and being selected by another President to be Secretary of State.

We can speculate about her motivations, but whatever they truly are, they’re enough to put her at “not zero” for another presidential run.

A former Hillary Clinton adviser says there’s a chance she will run in 2020

https://theweek.com/speedreads/802785/former-hillary-clinton-adviser-says-theres-chance-run-2020Philippe Reines, who worked for Hillary Clinton going back to 2002 and was her senior adviser at the State Department, made the argument to Politico Friday that the former Democratic nominee might actually be the party’s best hope for defeating Trump in 2020. He said no other Democrat has “anywhere near a base of 32 million people,” especially not Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The party, he feels, shouldn’t dismiss her as a failed candidate because she’s “smarter” and “tougher” than most, and she “could raise money easier than most.”

But it doesn’t sound like this is just wishful thinking on his part. He really thinks it could happen, saying the chances of Clinton running in 2020 are “not zero.”

The left isn’t taking the news too well. Reactions on Twitter have been lukewarm at best while often getting abusive. No need to post the Tweets here. You can already guess what they’re saying.

I think I speak for Republicans across the country who would relish the thought of taking on Clinton once again. There are some potential candidates who look strong going into 2020. She’s not one of them. If she can manage to steal the nomination again, it would be a huge win for the President.

I sometimes feel sorry for Hillary Clinton, but usually I’m just amused. She’ll always remind me of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Democrats

As Bernie Sanders fades, 3 leftists (quietly) vie to pick up his mantle

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As Bernie Sanders fades 3 leftists quietly vie to pick up his mantle

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) just turned 77-years-old last month. The Democratic-Socialist movement, which he essentially brought into the mainstream and helped make popular following his 2016 presidential campaign, is made up of young, enthusiastic leftists. They need new leadership. Bernie can’t be that guy.

Two-years removed from his rise to prominence, his people are already searching for successors. Nobody’s saying it openly and Sanders still enjoys a great deal of support, but his inability to endorse leftists into primary victories showed he still couldn’t beat the Democratic establishment even after their stunning 2016 loss. But the real nail in Bernie’s presidential coffin was not endorsing soon-to-be Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

He picked losers and failed to recognize a surprise winner.

It should come as no surprise that Ocasio-Cortez is unwilling to endorse him for a 2020 presidential run.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t endorsing Bernie Sanders’ 2020 bid

https://nypost.com/2018/10/18/ocasio-cortez-isnt-endorsing-bernie-sanders-2020-bid/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow“She’ll see what the field looks like,” Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director, told Politico. “She’s focused on 2018, [Bernie’s] focused on 2018. We’re all focused on 2018.”

Sanders did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez in her stunning primary defeat in June of longtime Queens political boss Rep. Joe Crowley.

Nobody on the left seems willing to flatly admit what most of them already know. Sanders is nothing more than a symbol now. He’s the ideological leader of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, much like Barry Goldwater was for the conservative wing of the Republican party. He lit the fire. Now it’s time for his successors to step up. Who will it be?

Before we discuss who’s going to be the next Bernie Sanders, let’s talk about who isn’t. Despite the far left getting all the buzz, the Democratic establishment of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama (sorry leftists, yes, he was and is part of the Democratic establishment) still holds sway on the direction of the party. They’re more than willing to tap into the excitement of the progressive movement and get Democratic Socialists to vote for Democratic mainstream candidates, but they’re smart enough to recognize if the far-left gets their way, the party and probably the nation will crumble.

These establishment types will not pick up Bernie’s mantle:

  • Joe Biden – He’s the current frontrunner, but I seriously doubt he’ll run. Why would he? He doesn’t really want to be President and would be 80 by the time his first term came to a close. Regardless, he’s more moderate that Clinton and will not be the next Bernie.
  • Elizabeth Warren – Despite wanting to be the next Bernie and having the progressive credentials to match his far-leftist rhetoric, her star is already fading fast. Democrats and mainstream media are trying to pretend like her DNA debacle never happened, but her competitors will be sure to remind the world of her horrible judgment. Wanting it and being accepted by the fragile far-left are two different things. They won’t turn on her as a Senator but they won’t let her be Bernie.
  • Beto O’Rourke – His star-power will fade when he loses to Ted Cruz. If he’s somehow able to win, then we’ll have to watch what he does in the first year of his term as Senator to see if he can be the guy. As of now, he’s a MSNBC contributor in the making following his loss.
  • Michael Bloomberg – A rich old white guy might have brought the socialist movement into the spotlight, but a super-rich old white guy can’t pick up the mantle.
  • Michael Avenatti – LOL. No.
  • Eric Holder – If anyone on this list could sneak into the Democratic Socialist camp, it’s Holder. He is progressive enough and speaks the language of socialism, but he’s also closely tied to the establishment.

With those non-Bernies out of the way, let’s look at the three most likely candidates to lead the far-left in 2020. You’ll notice they’re all Senators, a la Barack Obama’s path. I don’t see a governor or mayor who has a legitimate chance of being a socialist hero. Andrew Cuomo and Eric Garcetti are interesting prospects, but not high enough on the radar at this time.

That leaves private citizens, some of whom could be the next Bernie if they choose to throw their names in the hat. Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney stand out, but we won’t put them on this list until they actually get political.

One thing to note is that they’ll all be cozy with Sanders until the time is right. None of them have the street credibility they’ll need to challenge Sanders directly until he’s ready to embrace one or more of them on his own. Quietly, they’ll be pitching him on why they’re the right person to continue what he started. They might even offer him a nice cabinet position like Treasury Secretary in exchange for his coveted endorsement.

The next Bernie will likely be one of these three Senators:

Kamala Harris

The California Senator is the obvious choice. She has built up the most progressive voting record in her short time on Capitol Hill and definitely talks the talk of socialism.

If any socialist has a real shot at the White House, it’s Harris.

Kirsten Gillibrand

The funny part about Gillibrand is that she’s been considered a moderate in the past. Some even called her a “conservative Democrat” when she was in the House because she represented a red district of New York. Once she became a Senator, her true colors came out.

Deep down, Gillibrand is among the most socialist Senators there is. Her voting record is actually to the left of Sanders, according to Progressive Punch. She is likable by the far left while still holding sway over moderates. If her name-recognition increases in the next year, she could be a real contender.

Cory Booker

Spartacus has problems with his image at times, but there’s no doubt he could easily pick up Bernie’s mantle. He’s currently stuck in the middle trying to be everything to every progressive up and down the scale, but when push comes to shove he can be the socialist he wants to be.

Whether or not he picks up Bernie’s mantle will be determined by how well the previous two listed socialists do. If he’s ahead of them and his primary competitors are to his right, then he’ll drift towards the center knowing he’ll end up with Bernie’s people anyway. If he’s running against stiff competition from Gillibrand and/or Harris, he’ll try to lurch to their left to steal their thunder.

2020 is a make-or-break election for socialists. If they fail to get their choice as the nominee for a second straight presidential election, it could be enough to bury their horrible ideology as fringe leftist junk. Then again, it could make them double down.

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