Archive for the ‘Primaries’ Category

The Strib’s reporting suggests that police reform and public safety have become the top voting motivations for DFL primary voters this Tuesday. The article says “in a period of reckoning for their party and the nation as a whole, they’re also contrasting their ideas on police reform and racial inequality, issues that have fueled several primaries in the city where Floyd died, particularly the contest between Omar and Melton-Meaux.”

This has led to a spirited fight between Omar and Melton-Meaux. From the Melton-Meaux side, “His supporters, like civil rights activists Josie Johnson and Nekima Levy Armstrong, argue their support for him goes beyond policy positions. It touches on a key theme of his campaign: that Omar, a rising star and member of ‘the Squad’ in Congress, is more concerned about her national profile than the needs of the district. ‘I’m in touch with people on a regular basis who feel as if they are being neglected by the powers that be,’ said Levy Armstrong. ‘Understanding our needs is critical of the person who is going to represent us in Congress. Someone who is going to spend the time listening to what we need and not just talking and giving rhetoric.'”

From the Omar side:

Omar said she finds Melton-Meaux’s insinuation “offensive.” Her father was also battling COVID-19 at the same time and later died. Her supporters say she was frequently at the memorial and helping communities hit by civil unrest. They also have criticized Melton-Meaux for a 2015 Star Tribune op-ed that called out protesters’ anti-police chants as he argued that the movement needed to create a bigger tent. Melton-Meaux defends the commentary, saying he wrote the piece to help the movement grow and build collaborations.

It’s fun watching Melton-Meaux criticize Omar. She’s acted like she’s immune from criticism. It’s just a matter of time before she boils over.

Tensions over policing and the Black Lives Matter movement also have extended to Hayden’s race, where Fateh has criticized the incumbent for past backing from the controversial Minneapolis police union. Hayden said an erroneous endorsement was put on his website alongside those of other unions. He denies that he’s accepted the police union’s backing.

Fateh supports the push to radically reimagine policing in the city and the state, and said Hayden hasn’t been a present leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. But Hayden said his experience of more than a decade at the State Capitol has helped him build connections necessary to bring resources back to the district, which still suffers the scars of properties burned, looted and vandalized after Floyd’s death.

On the subject of bringing resources back to the community, he’s stunk at it:

While it’s hard to blame the cops for considering clearing out of town under the current conditions, they may have company as they’re loading up the U-Haul rental trucks. A number of business owners in Minneapolis appear to have had it with their properties being smashed, emptied and set on fire. And if some semblance of normalcy and security can’t be restored, they will be looking to relocate to somewhere safer and taking all of their jobs with them. (CBS Minnesota)

This isn’t helpful in rebuilding Minneapolis. Once the trickle starts to move, it doesn’t take long for it to turn into a full-fledged mass exodus from Minneapolis. That’s what happens when you have ineffective leadership.

Byron York’s article eliminates the MSM-peddled myth that this will be a base election. There’s little question whether President Trump’s base is fired up. You can’t read this information and reach another conclusion:

Trump won the Texas primary with 94.1% of the vote. In 2004, the last time an incumbent Republican president ran for reelection, George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, won the Texas primary with 92.5% of the vote. This year, Trump won with 1,889,006 votes out of 2,007,314 Republican votes cast. Democrat Joe Biden won Texas with 716,030 votes out of 2,075,862 Democratic votes cast.

Republicans didn’t have a competitive primary to drive turnout. Democrats had a huge primary to drive turnout. Despite that, Trump outdistanced Democrats. This information should put to rest this silliness that Democrats will flip Texas this year. That isn’t happening.

The story was similar in other states. In Alabama, Trump won the Republican primary with 96.2% of the vote. In 2004, Bush won the Alabama primary with 92.8% of the vote. This year, Trump won with 695,469 votes out of 722,809 Republican votes cast. Biden won with 286,065 votes out of 452,278 Democratic votes cast.

I could continue with other ruby-red states but you get the picture. This lets the Trump campaign focus their resources and attention on battleground states. While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans focus on maximizing their victory. This paragraph says everything:

“There is unprecedented support and enthusiasm for President Trump in the Republican Party, and supporters are turning out in state primaries because they just can’t wait to get involved in the process that will end with his re-election,” said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh in an email exchange. “The president has inspired record turnout and record vote totals, but it’s not just Republicans who are fired up. Our data shows that a quarter of people who register for the president’s rallies are independents or Democrats. The president has unified Republicans, but he’s also attracting new voters to his side as well.”

Republicans have the opportunity to do something special this year. Republicans should work their buns off so they strengthen their Senate majority and recapture their House majority while re-electing President Trump for 4 more years. If Republicans can pull off that trifecta, the nation will be in incredibly strong shape for the next 4 years.

This is a fitting conclusion:

Kristol told NPR he thought it was “unlikely” that Trump could be defeated in the primaries. Still, NPR reported, the Never Trumpers’ “secondary goal” is to “bruise Trump enough to hurt his chances come November 2020.”

Bill Kristol is a petty, bitter man. He, Steve Hayes and George Will should move to Bloomberg Island, aka, American Samoa, and leave the rest of us alone.

Saying that Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday exceeded expectations is understatement. As I write this, Biden has won Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Bernie has won California, Colorado, Utah and Vermont. At this point, Maine remains too close to call.

At this point, Biden leads Bernie in delegates by 88 delegates. To be precise, Biden leads Bernie in delegates by a 390-312 margin. Thus far tonight, Biden had won 341 delegates to Bernie’s 257.

In other Super Tuesday news, the AP is reporting that “Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will reassess on Wednesday whether he should stay in the race after getting disappointing results in Super Tuesday primaries despite spending more than a half billion dollars on his campaign. A person close to the Bloomberg campaign confirmed the deliberations. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter by name and requested anonymity.”

Elizabeth Warren had a disappointing night, too:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was poised to place third in Massachusetts’ Democratic primary, a blow to the liberal lawmaker’s presidential candidacy in a state that sent her to the U.S. Senate twice. The Associated Press declared Joe Biden the winner Tuesday evening, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont trailing in second place with about 62% of the vote reported.

She’s essentially crippled. Finishing second in your home state is bad enough. Finishing third is terrible. This race isn’t over yet, though. Joe Biden still has some glaring weaknesses, which this video does a nice job of highlighting:

The expectation is that Bloomberg and Warren will drop out before the next set of primaries. Also worth noting: Biden supposedly only spent $11,000 in winning Massachusetts. He pulled a Hillary in Minnesota (0 visits) and still won. Apparently, the Democrat Establishment had more to do with Biden winning than Biden had to do with his winning. MSNBC reported on-air that Obama got the word out that Joe was the Establishment’s candidate. Since he allegedly put the word out, Klobuchar and Buttigieg dropped out and the Establishment fell into line. This wasn’t just a win for the Establishment. This represents the best shot at saving Pelosi’s gavel. Jonathan Karl kinda lets the secret out with this tweet:

Joe Biden is still a deeply flawed candidate. No amount of endorsements will hide his flaws. Does anyone seriously think that a guy who hasn’t won a single primary in 3 presidential campaigns finally wins a primary, then wins 9 primaries a week later without visiting some of the states and while spending $11,000 in another state? Anyone that thinks that isn’t mentally fit for office.

Is Joe Biden poised to surprise Bernie Sanders in a couple of big Super Tuesday states? Based on RealClearPolitics aggregation of polling in Texas and North Carolina, the answer is yes. I’m not predicting the outcome of those states’ primaries but I’m seeing some late changes in the polling. Let’s start with the Texas polling:

If Biden can pull off the upset in Texas, something that’s still very much in doubt, that changes everything delegate-wise. Even if Biden and Bloomberg don’t win but have strong showings, those are delegates that Bernie very much wants and needs. Then there’s North Carolina:

Notice the margin in the final polling. It looks like an outlier but I’m not certain of that. Remember Biden’s wide margin of victory in South Carolina. Biden doubled up Bernie’s support so I’m totally willing to accept this as legitimate. If it’s a wipeout in North Carolina and if Biden and Bloomberg grab a bunch of delegates in Texas, that mitigates a large portion of the California damage from Bernie.

Amy Klobuchar had a no-good, downright terrible weekend this past weekend. Saturday night, she finished ahead of only Tulsi Gabbard in South Carolina’s First-in-the-South Primary. In that primary, she got only 3% of the vote, well behind Joe Biden’s 48%:

After that disappointing finish, she returned to Minnesota with the hopes of rallying her supporters. Instead, #BlackLivesMatters protesters took over the stage right before the event and never relinquished control. After negotiations broke off, the event was cancelled:

Family members of Myon Burrell, a Minnesota teenager who was sentenced to life in prison under then-County Attorney Klobuchar for murder, along with protesters affiliated with the Racial Justice Network, Minneapolis NAACP and others took the stage in Burrell’s honor chanting “Free Myon” and “Black Lives Matter.” CNN has reached out to Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who was one of the organizers of the protest, for comment. A recently published Associated Press investigation into Burrell’s case labeled his conviction “flawed,” causing some of the same groups present to call for Klobuchar to suspend her campaign.

The image on Sunday was striking. At one point, Klobuchar supporters holding “Amy for America” signs stood on chairs directly across from stage shouting “Amy, Amy,” to shout down the protesters while they responded with “Black Lives Matter” chants. After a brief pause, a majority of crowd joined in the effort to drown out protesters that worked for a brief amount of time, but eventually, the cancellation was announced.

“Ladies and gentleman, thank you very much for coming tonight and for your patience,” the announcer said. “We’re sorry to say that tonight’s event has been canceled. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please remember to vote on Tuesday.”

#BlackLivesMatter-Minneapolis isn’t alone in calling for Sen. Klobuchar to suspend her campaign. Earlier in the weekend, Sen. Klobuchar tried putting the best spin possible after her disappointing finish:

On Saturday, Klobuchar finished a distant sixth in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, winning a pathetic three percent of the vote. The Minnesota senator only managed to beat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who seemingly fell off the face of the earth after failing to qualify for the last five Democratic debates. But as Klobuchar sees it, she’s still in “the top five vote-getters in the early four primaries and caucuses.” The senator made her delusions known during an interview with a local NBC News affiliate in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday.

It isn’t likely that Sen. Klobuchar will win many delegates in Super Tuesday voting. It should be noted, though, that she’s leading in home state Minnesota. That lead might not last, though, because Sen. Sanders is flying into Minnesota for a Monday night rally. If Sen. Klobuchar doesn’t do well, the campaign will have a difficult decision to make.

With Super Tuesday literally just days away, the question that all of the pundits are asking is whether Joe Biden will get a bounce from his victory Saturday night. A quick scan of the RCP average of polls for Super Tuesday primaries shows Bernie Sanders with leads in most of the states, including delegate-rich Texas and California. Sen. Sanders also leads in Virginia and Massachusetts. The RCP average shows Sen. Sanders running away with Colorado and Utah.

If things go well for Sanders on Tuesday night, he’ll be in a dominant position to win the Democrats’ presidential nomination. That’s what I’m expecting. Further, I’m expecting Biden to do just well enough to continue but not well enough to contend. I expect Klobuchar, Warren and Buttigieg to drop out of the race, with Klobuchar having the best shot at doing well enough to stay in the race.

California will send a harsh signal to the Democrats. Here’s why:

There’s an outside possibility that Sanders will be the only candidate who will win California delegates. If that’s what happens, Sanders will be virtually unstoppable. Sanders also leads in Texas:

This doesn’t sound like the type of performance Biden and the Democrats’ Establishment needs. If things go according to the RCP average in each of these states, Bernie will be the prohibitive favorite to be the Democrats’ nominee. After that, expect to hear about lots of article with ideas on how to steal the nomination from Bernie.

There are some serious fights amongst House Democrats. According to the Intercept, Rep. Cheri Bustos, the chair of the DCCC, “counted as many 111 primaries for her incumbent members, a higher-than-normal number as the Democratic Party struggled with the leftward trajectory of their new coalition, which is less white, more educated and youthful.”

In this article, we are told about incumbent Mike Doyle, who has represented the district since fist winning election in 1994. According to his primary opponent, Jerry Dickinson, Doyle isn’t liberal enough:

Twenty-plus years is a long time in office. Look at the record. Is Doyle liberal enough to lead what is a safe, strongly Democratic district? The answer is no. Think about the safe blue districts all across the United States, whose representatives take on the liberal mantle, who are loud. They are leaders. They stick their neck out on the issues that really, really do matter to liberals. That should be happening here. This is a post-industrial liberal enclave, which actually makes it in a unique position to actually be the leader on all major issues.

The Democrats’ spinmeisters have consistently told us that Democrats could investigate and legislate. Then Democrats like Jessica Tarlov have insisted that there are lots of Democrat moderates. Based on what’s just been reported, there are more AOC progressives than there are ‘Tarlov moderates’.

Republicans are dealing with retirements, most of which are from solid red districts. Will Hurd seems to be the exception to that pattern. If AOC Democrats have gotten into the circular firing squad business, that could help Republicans retake the House.

Joe Biden’s frontrunner status in the Democrats’ nominating process just got significantly shakier. The subject of that article is why Biden has earned the title of “1% Joe.”

At a fancy fundraiser Tuesday night, Biden is quoted as saying “Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money” Biden told about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites.”

Later, Biden said this:

“Truth of the matter is, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. “We can disagree in the margins. But the truth of the matter is, it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change.

From a policy standpoint, this isn’t a major problem in a general election. In a Democrat primary, it’s like lighting a short fuse on a big stick of dynamite. Nothing good will come of it. I can’t picture Bernie Sanders not bringing this up at next week’s debate. Further, I can’t picture Biden not attempting to explain why this is much ado about nothing. Good luck with that, Joe, especially in light of his Hyde Amendment fiasco.

Think that this fundraiser will be accepted by progressive activists? Think again:

This will go over as well on the left as cockroaches and ants invading a picnic. Biden won’t drop 20 points by the end of July but he’s about to experience a major correction in his polling.

Thus far, Vice President Biden has hidden his gaffes fairly well, with the Hyde Amendment fiasco being the biggest exception. This statement returns the spotlight to Biden’s gaffes. The worst gaffes are the ones that reinforce an image that’s already well-earned. This isn’t going away because Vice President Biden is a certifiable gaffe machine.

The truth is that Joe Biden is almost as terrible of a candidate as Hillary was. This field of Democrat presidential candidates isn’t that impressive. Still, another of these gaffes and Biden will be wondering how he’ll stop Amy Klobuchar’s momentum.

Thursday night, Rep. Marsha Blackburn coasted to an easy primary victory, winning with 84.47% of the vote. As expected, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen coasted to victory in the Democrat primary, winning with 91.48% of the vote.

The telling statistic isn’t the percentage of the vote the winners got. The telling statistic is how many people turned out. The Republican candidates combined to win 717,885 votes, with Rep. Blackburn winning 606,402 votes alone. The 3 Democrat candidates combined to win 378,548 votes, with Bredesen winning 346,305 votes.

That means the 2 Republicans gathered almost 350,000 more votes than did the 3 Democrat candidates. While that doesn’t guarantee a November victory for Republicans, that margin of victory, coupled with the turnout, must have Mitch McConnell and Ronna McDaniel breathing a sigh of relief. Here’s what the races looked like:

The negative news last night was that Rep. Diane Black lost. She was backed by former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer.

Tim Pawlenty has started running an ad that takes a shot at Gov. Dayton’s incompetence in administering government assistance programs. Before we watch the ad, though, it’s important to note that Pawlenty has listed this issue as a high priority on his campaign’s issues page.

He wrote “Whether it is a driver’s license renewal system that doesn’t work, broken healthcare websites, or childcare providers allegedly defrauding the state of a massive amount of money and sending some of that money to terrorists overseas, state government needs to be held more accountable. Too often, state government is not held accountable and taxpayers are left to pay the price. As just one example, a recent audit from the Office of the Legislative Auditor found the state is paying hundreds of millions in benefits to people not even eligible because state government fails to verify income eligibility. We will properly verify eligibility and use the hundreds of millions currently being wasted to lower health care costs and provide better care to Minnesotans in need. It’s time to hold state government more accountable and put hardworking Minnesotans first.”

Here’s Pawlenty’s ad:

Rating this ad

I consider this ad to be effective. First, Pawlenty ‘narrates’ the ad, in essence telling people what he thinks is important while highlighting what’s wrong with government. Next, he closes by saying that he’d use those savings to lower health care costs for Minnesotans who work hard and obey the law.

Next up is Karin Housley’s first ad:

Rating this ad

I rate this ad effective, too. First, Sen. Housley speaks for herself, which is always the most effective way of getting the message across. Next, she explains her governing philosophy. Simply put, she wants to ‘drain the swamp’ and get government out of the average citizen’s way. She wants government “working for you, not against you.” Finally, she tells voters that she understands “that the best place for your hard-earned money is in your pocket.”

In both cases, the ads were short, concise and about things that Minnesotans care about.

UPDATE: I saw Jeff Johnson’s first ad tonight:

Rating this ad

Johnson’s ad definitely goes after Tim Pawlenty, which is what I’d expect since Johnson first has to win the primary. I thought it was gratuitous for Johnson to say that Gov. Pawlenty “gave us higher spending.” When Gov. Pawlenty started in office, Jim Knoblach chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. It’s foolish to think that there was a massive spending increase at that time because Gov. Pawlenty inherited a $4.2 billion projected deficit from Jesse Ventura. Pawlenty and Knoblach eliminated that deficit without raising taxes. It’s fair, however, to mention the fee increases.

The ad is a bit misleading in that Pawlenty had to battle DFL supermajorities in the 2007 and 2009 budget sessions. That’s when Republicans relied on Gov. Pawlenty to be our goalie.

Overall, the ad is somewhat effective because it’s somewhat misleading.