While political junkies talk endlessly about dropping poll numbers for President Trump and his detractors make bold predictions for the midterm elections, I’m reminded of the proverb, Pride Comes Before a Fall.
Midterm elections are notoriously difficult to get voter turnout and Trump’s supporters are if nothing else, loyal and dedicated. Combine that with some findings published in this week’s NYT article, Trump’s Popularity Has Declined Across Voting Blocs in the Past Year, which despite its title suggests that his largest declines comes from voting blocs that never really supported him to begin with and one wonders why Democrats feel quite so confident?
Does it really matter that his popularity has fallen 8 points by those who describe themselves as Democrats? While his drop in popularity also includes crucial demographics for the President like self described Republicans and Conservatives – these dips are far smaller. It seems to me that detractors of the President should spend more time focusing on targeting voters who either stood on the sidelines in the 2016 Presidential election or voted for Trump more to vote against Clinton than out of any support for the President.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand” – Abraham Lincoln
Building bridges is a lot harder than blowing them up and unfortunately Democrats are in far greater need for bridge builders. Under Trump’s leadership, the Republican Party has a laser focus on shrinking and riling up their base to ensure they turn out in every election. Donald Trump has successfully employed a divide and conquer strategy. Playing on people’s fears and anger inevitably benefits Donald Trump. If you are truly opposed to Donald Trump what will you do to replace those fears with faith in a better tomorrow and anger with action?
I don’t know much about Jess Phoenix other than she is a geologist who is running for U.S. House of Representatives 25th District in California and hopes to replace U.S. Representative Steve Knight who has a 0% Lifetime score by The League of Conservation Voters on issues pertaining to the environment.
The 25th Congressional district is located just north of Los Angeles and it hasn’t sent a Democrat to D.C. in 25 years but Jess Phoenix seems undeterred by that fact. I realize that this post is not what I typically write about but I hope in the months that follow I hear about more candidates (and specifically female candidates) like Jess coming forward to announce their candidacy.
If you live in this district or near it, talk to your friends about Jess. I’m a firm believer in grassroots organizing and if more people were to get involved, we might be more proud and less ashamed of our government.
Law of unintended consequences: Will the exodus from Puerto Rico turn Florida Blue and surpass the Cuban voting block
In about ten months Americans will go to the polls for the midterm elections. It is hard to predict what the current mood of the nation will be, but an unintended consequence of our racist response (I don’t know how else to describe it) to helping Puerto Rico recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria could tilt elections in the purple state of Florida.
Somewhere between 150,000 – 200,000 Puerto Ricans moved to Florida in the two months following Hurricane Maria and that state’s Puerto Rican population is now by some estimates more than 1 million people. Over the next two years Puerto Rico is expected to lose almost 15% of its population or approximately 500,000 people with the majority likely to end up in Florida. Just like the Cuban population in Florida, Puerto Ricans are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, but unlike their Latino brethren, they overwhelmingly identify and vote Democrat.
Democrats need to mobilize and channel Puerto Rican rage at Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation
Puerto Ricans are still smarting from our inaction, and Republicans in Florida have become alarmed by the influx to their state. Noting not only the disproportionate burden their state shares in providing social services, education, etc… but also what this could mean for their re-election bids.
I might start believing in karma if the heartless response to helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria resulted in turning Florida’s 29 electoral votes into a reliable state for Democrats. The key moving forward is mobilizing and channeling the rightful rage of Puerto Ricans who have fled their home into a voting block that will rival and surpass Cubans in the state of Florida. It is hard to imagine how short sighted the Republican Party’s response to helping the island of Puerto Rico could be if their inaction results in turning the third most populous state (by Electoral Votes) Democrat in the winner takes all Presidential elections come 2020.
Yesterday was a new low for an administration that keeps finding new lows. Never again will I listen to anyone who criticizes Obama’s foreign policy. Donald Trump sounds as if he is trying to overcompensate for something and is basically goading a madman into war. I’ve met teenagers with a firmer grasp (and better understanding of history) than our current embarrassment of a President.
The USA Today editorial board (not exactly known for being particularly political) published a stunning rebuke of President Trump last night while the Alabama special election was going on.
Below is an excerpt of the editorial which appears to have been motivated by a number of issues but clearly were moved to comment after President Trump attacked U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low… The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.”
You can read the full editorial: Will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom?
Earlier this week Gallup released findings that may come as a surprise to the Trump Administration and Attorney General, Jeff Sessions who’s views towards marijuana are antiquated to say the least. The news that more Americans favor legalizing marijuana isn’t necessarily news (just look at the success it has had at the ballot box) but what is surprising is according to Gallup for the first time a majority of Republicans are also expressing their support for legalizing marijuana; 51% of Republicans favor legalizing marijuana (up nine percentage points from 2016).
64% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana
Although by the late 1970s approximately 25-30% of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, it was not until about a decade ago when a significant number of Americans started to support legalization for recreational use.
Despite what you might think based on the political rhetoric you hear coming from 1600 Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the polling numbers on marijuana continues a trend that shows more Americans are becoming more socially tolerant and liberal on several social issues. No wonder we keep hearing about a culture war – a little more than half the country is becoming increasingly more accepting with many others wondering what has happened to “their America”. Trends suggest that legalization of marijuana, LGBTQ rights and environmental issues will only continue to gain support.
Poll Source: Gallup
Currently eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. They include: Alaska, California, Colorado, D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. Twenty-one other states have broadly legalized marijuana for medical use and or have decriminalized possession. You can read the full findings from Gallup here.