Who Wins 2016 – 50 State Breakdown

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From the Political Desk of Ribbie’s Weblog:

The Democratic ticket of Clinton/Kaine will win the general election 335-203 over Trump/Gingrich. Now I could be way off. Kaine and Gingrich might not be the running mates. Clinton could win in a landslide, with Trump’s negative numbers, whose to say it won’t happen.  However, Hillary’s unfavorability numbers are also alarmingly high.  The truth is that many people can’t stand either candidate which means the race is more likely than not to be close.  And factor in other options for disaffected voters like a write-in or not voting at all, the green party candidate, Jill Stein or Gary Johnson of the libertarian  party, we could be looking at a real battle between the “outsider” anti-establishment Republican candidate and team Clinton with the Democratic establishment.  Where Bernie supporters go is up for debate, but unless they don’t mind the prospect of Trump, some will chose Clinton.  Others may find it impossible to vote for either and chose one of the alternative options above.

Here’s how I got to the electoral totals.  Tap on map.

Republicans win 203

  1. Alaska – Sarah Palin.  She’s one of Trump’s only surrogates who can stir up a crowd into a lunatic frenzy and she is still very popular in Alaska.  If no one else accepts the VP invitation, she’ll be on another losing ticket.
  2. Idaho –  A lot of people are living in their own private Idaho and just want the government to get the hell out of their lives.
  3. Montana – My guess is that this is survivalist country and like Idaho, folks want to be left the hell alone.
  4. Wyoming – NRA country.
  5. ND – Obama blamed for everything bad.
  6. SD – Obama blamed for everything bad.
  7. OK – You got no fracking business killing drilling.
  8. AZ – Hands off my guns plus McCain blames Obama for all terrorism, oh, and that anti-immigrant Sherrif is popular.
  9. TX – Don’t mess with Texas or else they’ll secede…again.
  10. AR – Many Arkansans hate Clinton plus Senator Cotton tried to undermine the Iranian agreement in an action that showed supreme disrespect to a sitting President.  And Wal-mart’s anti-union rules rule.
  11. KS – A state full of right-to-lifers who are against planned parenthood.
  12. MS – Always votes GOP and has been messing with the books to suppress the vote.
  13. AL – Always votes GOP and loves Trump’s rheteroic.  USA USA USA.
  14. MO – Pretty much the same as KS with evalangelicals who find some things in Trumpspeak attractive.
  15. GA – Right to Work state – fiercely anti-union and pro-gun with Wal-Mart as state’s largest employer.
  16. SC – Some pissed about the confederate flag being outlawed, but Republican Governor Halley remains popular. Trey Gowdy is a big anti-Clinton cheerleader and won’t let Benghazi go.
  17. TN – Gun state. Volunteerism would be their answer to social problems.
  18. KY – Mitch McConnell land.
  19. WI – Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Scott Walker – safely in the bag for the GOP, even though they are not enthusiastic supporters of Trump.
  20. IN – Trump bringing back lost manufacturing jobs.
  21. WV – Mountain Moma…Trump bringing back the mining industry.
  22. NH – because the granite state would like to secede like TX if they could – no taxes for the live free and die state.
  23. RI – The Dems haven’t helped them much.
  24. NE – Pioneer state that loves them some XL pipline.
  25. LA – Gun state.

Democrats win 335

  1. NY – HRC’s home state.  Has long connections there.
  2. MA – Elizabeth Warren will deliver the Bay State.
  3. NJ – Is a blue state with an unpopular GOP Governor in Chris Christie.  They are fed up with climate change deniers.
  4. ME – A blue state but not a lock.
  5. VT – Bernie will deliver but indirectly.  Former Governor Dean is a strong surrogate.
  6. FL – Gun control could be gaining support after Orlando shootings. Hillary wins Florida with strong turnout, despite slight to Wasserman Schultz, and Gov. Scott’s attempts to suppress the vote.
  7. NC – Strong African American voter turnout will make the difference.
  8. CA – strong blue state with Jerry Brown endorsement
  9. OR – strong blue state with good coffee and the show Portlandia.
  10. WA – Strong blue state.
  11. NV – Harry Reid saves the day.
  12. UT – Mormons won’t get behind Trump; Romney will see to that.
  13. NM – Lots of Latinos promise to turn out plus Bill Richardson is back on the Clinton bandwagon.
  14. MN – A purple rain state turned blue state because Trump would be a disaster.
  15. MI – A blue state with strong support from the African American and Muslim American communities.  Republicans took big hit for Flint.
  16. IL – The Obamas will deliver the state where Hillary grew up.
  17. OH – Sherrod Brown delivers the rust belt swing state.
  18. PA –  She’ll win Pittsburg and Philadephia, but it may be close overall.
  19. MD – HRC should win with strong African American turnout. Martin O’Malley endorsement could help.
  20. DC – Solidly in the bag for the Dems.
  21. VA – Democratic leaning state  with Tim Kaine securing the deal.
  22. CO – I can’t imagine stoners voting for Trump.
  23. CT – Gun control.
  24. DE – Joe Biden.
  25. HI – President Obama’s home state.
  26. IA – Trump doesn’t have much of a ground game there.  Plus, he called Iowan voters stupid
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HRC’s Worst Case Path to Victory

 

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Even though Trump is a train wreck with a 70% unfavorability rating, Secretary Clinton may still have a difficult path to victory.  Her unfavorable rating is at 55% which is not exactly a prescription for victory.  The truth is that a big chunk of the electorate dislikes both candidates.  And while there are other options – the libertarian slate, and the green party, for example, neither are expected to make much of an impact on the election and are currently polling in single digits.

Clinton supporters want Bernie to drop out and endorse her candidacy, but Bernie has vowed to continue “the revolution” and seems to be in no hurry to concede.  His campaign has not gone so far as to call Clinton superdelegates to convince them to switch sides, but they have not yet said definitively that they won’t. Bernie clearly wants to use his leverage to extract as many concessions from Clinton and the DNC as possible, including the removal of Wasserman Schultz as party chair, and commitments to progressive positions on the platform such as the $15/hr minimum wage and a single-payer universal health care system.  The problem is that Bernie doesn’t have as much leverage as he may think. In fact, there is no reason for the DNC and Clinton to appease him any longer.  He has lost, fair and square; there’s no chance that he will become President unless Clinton names him as her VP and something happens to her, which is a highly unlikely scenario. And, in terms of the electoral map,  Clinton doesn’t need ALL of Bernie’s supporters to flock to her anymore.  It’s really on them as to whether they would prefer Trump or Clinton.

Clinton, not Sanders, has all the leverage now.  She has the entire DNC leadership behind her.  She has the endorsements of key progressives such as Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, both of whom are on her VP short list.  The President, whose approval rating is at 55%, and the Vice-President will be on the campaign trail for her. She has a heavy-hitting cast of  surrogates already on the trail, and frankly, doesn’t need Bernie.  It would be nice, of course, to have him campaigning for her, but he won’t make the difference. She has a clear path to victory without his support.  Even in the worst case scenario where HRC would lose the blue states that Bernie won during the primary season:  Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington (the strange state with both a primary and caucus where she won the primary, but lost the caucus) Maine, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Vermont, and lose all of the traditional red states, even the ones she won in a landslide in the primaries, she would still win the General election, granted by only 1 electoral vote. Tap on the link to see that hypothetical map.

Obviously, for Hillary to win, she needs to win the swing states she won in the primaries – Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, and Ohio.  She could actually win without taking Pennsylvania and Florida, but it would require her to turn a few red states. Given the importance of Virginia and Ohio, I think it prudent for her to select either Tim Caine of Virgina or Sherrod Brown of Ohio as her running mate. I once thought HRC would need Elizabeth Warren on the ticket to appease Bernie Sanders, but she can win without his endorsement before the convention and without him persuading his supporters to vote for her, something I can’t see him doing even with an endorsement.  The millennial Bernistas may or may not vote for her, but it won’t matter in the end. She’s got this. Unfortunately,  for those who feel the Bern, the revolution may be with a small r and abbreviated to revo. The real revolution will have to wait.

Arizona Birkenstock Birko-Flor Review

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New Pair of Arizona Birko-Flor narrow width sandals

I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about a shoe before and probably never will again.  I almost posted a user comment on Zappos where I bought the pair but decided not to give away my content to the website.  I was pleased with their service, Zappos that is. Buying the shoe, sandal, in this case, was easy.  Zappos has a wide selection of shoes in all sizes and widths, provides a UPS tracking link, and delivers on time for free.

But this review is not about Zappos, it’s about the Arizona Birkenstock Birko-Flor sandal, which I am now wearing or breaking-in I should say.  Where to start?  First, this is my third pair.  The first pair lasted about 10 years and the 2nd pair, darn near 15.  Both pairs were leather with the classic footbed.

 

DSC_0687 Time to Retire the 15-year-old pair of Birkenstock Arizona leather sandal
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Clinton VP Will B?

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If I were a Democratic strategist, and I’m not, but if I were, I would submit a short list of Veep candidates for Senator Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee to consider.

My top choice would be Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.  She knows how to get under Trump’s skin like no other.  As one of Hillary’s most effective surrogates, Senator Warren has shown that she can stand up to the bully in the schoolyard with her sharp tongue and debating skills.  And the historic significance of two women on the ticket cannot be overstated.  What’s more, Elizabeth Warren is a progressive who Senator Bernie Sanders could support as a VP, and maybe has already suggested her name.  Her views are aligned with his, especially with respect to Wall Street reform, income inequality, college debt, and the minimum wage.  Bernie supporters would likely warm up to Clinton if he were to praise her for choosing Warren.  Hillary needs Bernie’s supporters to win the general election.  If Bernie supporters don’t vote for Secretary Clinton or don’t vote at all, it will be a close race.  If some vote for Trump (as some have said they would do) he could win.

For Dems, the downside to E. Warren as VP would be the loss of a senate seat.  The Republican Governor of Massachusetts would appoint a Republican to replace her.  Also, Hillary doesn’t need Warren to deliver Massachusetts because the Bay State is solidly blue but it does have an interesting independent streak which might make the general  election a little closer than it might have been against an establishment GOP candidate.

If not E. Warren than Julian Castro would be the next best choice.  He is a young political star on the rise from Texas, former mayor of San Antonio and current Secretary of  Housing.   He would be the first Latino on a major ticket and might help to attract more Latino voters to support the ticket including some young activists who have been supporting Bernie Sanders.  Texas is a solidly red state but Castro might help to tighten the race there.

One other to consider –  Sen. Sherrod Brown.  He’s a progressive type from the swing state of Ohio.  Rumors have it that Sen. Sanders feels betrayed by Brown’s endorsement of Hillary, but it appears that Bernie was just blowing off steam. Bernie supporters might like his liberal positions  and feel that he would push Clinton more to the left. She absolutely needs to win Ohio and Brown could make the difference.  The downside is that he is another white male who does not reflect the diversity of the electorate.

Longshots: Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.  The Governors of both states are Democrats which means they could appoint a Democrat to fill the vacant Senate seat.  The idea of an all-woman ticket is appealing but the downside is that it may not be the best strategy for gaining male support, Trump’s best demographic On the other hand, it may be a clever strategy for gaining the support of GOP women who can’t stomach Trump.

Drumpf Will Self-Dumpf

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The GOP knows it cannot survive as a party with Donald J. Drumpf at the top of the ticket. For the record, Drumpf is Trump’s ancestral name changed to Trump in Europe long before he was born. I use Drumpf in jest because of its silly sound in English and not derisively, although if he takes offense, he should learn to take a dose of his own medicine which he frequently delivers in the form of nicknames to ridicule his opponents. The presumptive and  presumptious GOP nominee seems only to care about his brand and ego. As far as I can tell, he has no core ethical principles.  He appears to say and do only what he believes will be in the best interest of his brand, not the country, and he has shown no restraint in this regard.  Drumpf has repeatedly made racist remarks against Mexicans, even calling a judge of Mexican heritage, who was born in Indiana, unfit to preside in a case brought against Trump University because as Trump put it, “I’m building a wall!” Drumpf has called for a ban on Muslims entering this country, making an exception for the Mayor of London, until “we can figure out what is going on.” As a result of this policy that he now calls a suggestion, he doubts whether Muslim judges could be partial in court cases in which Trump concerns are involved.  What?

Drumpf is the most divisive candidate I can remember in my lifetime.  Exhibit 1: The clashes at rallies recently in California.  Doesn’t it strike you as unusual that the Drumpf campaign would choose locations where the candidate has virtually no support, where  large numbers of students including latino activists would be upset by his presence and come out in full protest? He is a provocateur and knew of the potential for violent clashes and wanted the cameras to spread images of prideful flag holding Mexican-Americans and immigrants that Trump wants the electorate to believe are un-American, illegal and violent.  He relishes chaos and favors the tactic of race-baiting to divide people.

His slogan to Make America Great Again suggests that America is on the decline, which one could argue, but Trump’s particular arguments don’t hold water.  He argues America doesn’t win anymore.  He claims the military and our foreign policy positions are weak citing the Iran deal and the continued existence of ISIS and NATO.  He suggests that our trade deals are bad and have led to outsourcing and the loss of manufacturing jobs to cheap foreign labor.  Some of these impacts have to do with corporate greed.  So Trump would incentivize American companies to return home with more tax breaks – some corporations pay very little at all as it is – and Trump would call for massive tax breaks for the top 1%. America, however, on many measures can be said to be already great or  even greater than before.  We have a stable constitution and system of democracy which give Americans the right to vote (or not); the right to free speech and assembly; the right to freely worship any religion or none at all.  On other quality of life metrics, Americans are living longer thanks to Obamacare which has insured millions of the previously uninsured.  Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2008 and much lower than during the Bush years. Unemployment remains below 5% and for President Obamas’s 8-year tenure, (8.1%) lower than President Reagan’s numbers at (8.2%). In fact, the unemployment rate of 4.9% so far for 2016, is the lowest rate since November of 2007 before the financial meltdown of 2008, and the stock market has become more stable and productive due to regulatory reform. On the foreign policy front, the Taliban, Al Queda, and ISIS have been kept in check of late; chemical weapons have been reduced in the Middle East and Iran is no longer in pursuit of nuclear weapons.  Far from being on the decline, America is still a key world leader and for better or worse, the only real superpower in terms of overall influence.

America, while great on some measures, is not so great on others.  There are serious problems that America must tackle, including income equality, immigration reform, racism, crumbling infrastructure, gun violence, climate change, and spiraling education costs to name a few on the domestic front. And America must do its part to help solve the refugee crisis in Europe, to broker peace in the Middle East and to reduce the threat of global terrorism.

But what Drumpf means by Make America Great Again is that America is becoming more diverse which is a direct threat to white supremacy.  White supporters of Drumpf are freaking out over changing demographics or the “browning” of America which will lead to declining white influence, power, and control. Drumpf has done a masterful job of  stoking these fears and insecurities and now has an army of angry whites who feel wronged by an African American president who Trump has tried to delegitimize by calling into question his citizenship and his academic and presidential accomplishments. Trump entertains all kinds of conspiracy theories and insinuates that Obama is a Muslim at heart because he won’t use the phrase Islamic terrorism, and that he is hell bent on taking down Christianity, a religion that Trump, ironically, appears to know very little about – remember the 2 Corinthians comment?

Finally, it would appear that the GOP leadership has had enough of Drumpf’s schtick.  They no longer support him and don’t want to be associated with his racist rhetoric. The general electorate has become increasingly alarmed about this unhinged candidate whose bizarre behavior is no longer entertaining and has become frightening. And Drumpf himself understands that his poll numbers have dropped significantly but is too stubborn and egotistical to pivot to unite the GOP.  He only cares about his brand, and now the brand is, as Trump would say, “taking a hit.”  As a businessman, Drumpf knows when to cut his losses and I wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped out of the race shortly before or at the GOP convention.  And who will step in to save the day for the GOP?  Will it be Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney? How about Marco Rubio? Will Ted Cruz be back in the mix? God, I hope not! Who would the leadership get behind? Could Jeb Bush reemerge? I had predicted from the beginning the nominees would be Clinton and Bush.  Might I be right after all?