Thursday, March 31, 2016

The political reality show - how trendsetting California leads the way in irresponsible citizens

For nearly 15 years, California has been a state that has no racial/ethnic majority. In other words, non-Hispanic Caucasian residents ceased to be the majority a long time ago. It is a trend that is slowly becoming a national reality and we're leading the trend.

But there is a disconnect as described in the key findings of a report released Tuesday evening by the Public Policy Institute of California - California’s Exclusive Electorate, Who Votes and Why it Matters.

According to the report:
As California's population continues to expand and change, its voting rolls are not keeping pace and its voters have become unrepresentative of its population.

Voters in California tend to be older, white, college educated, affluent, and homeowners. They also tend to identify themselves as “haves”—rather than “have nots”—when asked to choose between these two economic categories. Nonvoters tend to be younger, Latino, renters, less affluent, and less likely to be college educated than likely voters—and they generally identify themselves as have nots.

The economic differences between voters and nonvoters reflect the growing economic divide that has surfaced as one of the most important policy issues in the 2016 election year—and they have important implications for policymaking. Voters and nonvoters vary noticeably in their attitudes toward the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and elected officials—all of which come into play during an election year and influence governing choices in the long term.
More significantly in this writer's opinion, voter participation in non-Presidential election years has dropped substantially:

Even in California - a state that is basically a state of voters who vote Democratic - voters did participate in substantially greater numbers to elect and re-elect Barack Obama. It was good fun. Then...

In the non-Presidential election years, those same voters abandoned Barack Obama in droves by failing to insure he had a Democratic majority in Congress. In 2014 California voters led the way in abandoning the Obama Administration.

Presidents, of course, have no real power over domestic policy. They depend upon Congress to adopt policy that  the President's Administration subsequently can implement.

When those voters choose this "feel good" pattern and then get upset because "their" President can't achieve policy changes, they are indicating their absolute ignorance about how their government works.

Unfortunately, this year's primary participation pattern indicates that the enthusiastic Presidential-election-only voters are driving the Bernie Sanders movement. If Bernie were to win, these would end up being the most disappointed voters in decades as they would puzzle four years from now why Bernie couldn't operate as a dictator creating the new domestic policy he promised by Presidential fiat. It would never occur to them that they were the source of their own disappointment. And Donald Trump's supporters would face the same problem.

According to the Institute's report voters who are older, white, college educated, affluent, and homeowners - the "haves" - will determine who sets domestic policy because they register to vote and actually vote in much greater numbers. They won't be happy with Presidential election results - this year particularly, there are no likely nominees representing this group - but they can take solace in the fact that in terms of their interests it won't matter much who is elected President.

So, hey America, let's have a fun Presidential "contest" between Bernie-the-Commie and Donald-the-Fascist. Every four years, The Politics Show will rise up to become the greatest American reality show, one where the viewers decide, providing television networks with great ratings.

And then the viewers can quit watching The Politics Show for four years, again.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The pernicious impact of Gadfly Politicians like Bernie Sanders

Gadfly Politicians are politicians who persistently challenge the political status quo and people in positions of power.

We need these people, particularly in Congress and state legislatures where they can affect domestic policy. Senator Elizabeth Warren is an outstanding example.

But Gadfly Politicians usually have really big egos. Given any significant attention, they run for President. They shouldn't run for President. History tells us that a Gadfly Politician makes a pernicious choice when choosing to run for President because they always take advantage of the weakest elements within our political system.

We Democrats this year have Gadfly Politician Senator Bernie Sanders taking advantage of the weakest elements of the Democratic Party nomination process.
The fact is that to date in the Democratic Party Convention delegate selection process:
  • The average caucus-selected delegate was selected by 1,285 voters; Sanders has won in 10 of the 13 caucus states.
  • The average primary-selected delegate was selected by 8,315 voters; Clinton has won in 17 of the 20 primary states.
I'll explain more about this later.

But first let's look at the history of Gadfly Politicians running for President. I'll do this knowing that history, even recent history, is a despised subject for liberal voters, especially young liberal voters. In recent history Ross Perot and Ralph Nader were Gadfly Politicians who ran for President. Let me begin with Ross Perot.

In the November 1992 Presidential Election Bill Clinton received 43.0% (47,401,185) of the popular vote compared to George H. W. Bush's 37.4%  (39,104,550)  and Ross Perot's 18.9% (19,743,821).

Having won 43.0% of the popular vote Clinton received 68.77% (370) of the Electoral College votes compared to Bush's 31.23% (168) and Perot's 0% (0).

No one knows how the election would have turned out if Ross Perot had chosen not to run. It's likely most of his supporters would have voted Republican.

Democrats don't really remember this election, nor see Perot's choice as pernicious, because we won. (Did we, really?)

On the other hand, a lot of Democrats remember the November 2000 Presidential Election.

Practically every Democrat blames the Supreme Court for stealing the 2000 Presidential Election from Al Gore. America's "news" media focused on the Florida hanging-chad ballot fiasco which was the core of that court decision, thereby diverting attention away from the real reason Gore lost.

No one looks back at the pernicious disruptive impact of the 22,198 New Hampshire voters who, for reasons that defied all logic, cast their ballots not for Al Gore but for Ralph Nader.

Had even half of them come to their senses in the voting booth and voted for Al Gore, he not George Bush would have been elected President in 2000, Florida results notwithstanding.

That is because Bush won 271 Electoral Votes to Gore's 266. New Hampshire's four Electoral Votes went to Bush. Had they gone to Gore, Gore would have had 270 Electoral Votes to Bush's 267. (Without Nadar there is no question Gore would have won Florida, hanging chads and all.)

The likes of Bill Maher and Michael Moore assured the election of George W. Bush by backing Ralph Nader. This was because it never occurred to them that the President of the United States is not elected by ideas nor voters but by Electoral College members. It never occurred to them that Nader-the-Gadfly-Politician's choice to run was a pernicious choice.

And so in 2016 we have Bernie Sanders.

In the political party nomination process, delegates are the party equivalent to Electoral College members. It isn't the popular vote that selects a candidate at the Party Convention, but the vote of the delegates.

Bernie, in a typical Gadfly Politician manner, just "claimed victory" in three states in the Democratic Party nomination process - he won 53 delegates to Hillary Clinton's 19 in those three states.And here's what is wrong with what happened in those states yesterday.

Unlike in states where a primary election is held, the three states involved held "caucuses" where voters who didn't have any real life obligations yesterday went to the Party's parties and cast their votes for the nominee of their choice.

In Alaska 539 people were able to attend the parties. That represented ½ of 1% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012. Sanders was able to get 81% of the delegates from Alaska by winning the approval of 0.4% of the Alaskan voters likely to vote for the Democratic nominee in the November Presidential election.

That's a quirk you might want to say. Bernie also won in Washington State where thousands participated. Yeah....

There were 26,299 participants in the Washington caucuses which sounds like a lot until you learn that 1,620,432 Washington voters voted for Barack Obama in 2012.  Bernie Sanders got 74% of the Washington State delegates by getting 1.18% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012.

In Hawaii it was a little better.  Sanders did win 17 delegates by getting 7.76% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012.

In contrast, in the Alabama primary Clinton won 83% of the delegates by getting 39% of the votes cast for Barack Obama in 2012. This is typical for primary results.

It is ironic that Bernie Sanders today complained about the Democratic Party having Superdelegates, the vast majority of whom are committed to Clinton.

It is ironic because Sanders is taking advantage of the least democratic method of delegate selection process within the Democratic Party system to disrupt things in order to communicate a message challenging the political status quo and people in positions of power.

As I said in my first paragraph, Gadfly Politicians are politicians who persistently challenge the political status quo and people in positions of power. So Bernie Sanders is a Gadfly Politician.

History tells us that when Gadfly Politicians choose to run for President there are always unforeseen pernicious impacts on the best interests of their supporters.

I wonder what those impacts will be and what elements of our population beginning in 2017 will lose significantly in the policy arena because of Bernie's choice to run in 2016?

The poor? Blue collar workers? Blacks? Hispanics? Women?

Are Sanders supporters foolish enough to think it will be billionaires and international corporations?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What do you really know about Benito Mussolini or Donald Trump?

Some liberal alarmists seem to be comparing Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. This is utter rubbish. No reasonable person can see any resemblance between the two. But consider this resemblance...

Benito Mussolini, remember him? In 1922, while Hitler was giving beer hall speeches and getting arrested, Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy. Americans seem so fixated on Adolf Hitler that they forget Benito Mussolini. So that we can all be on the same page, let me quote from Wikipedia:

"German-American historian Konrad Jarausch has argued that Mussolini was responsible for an integrated suite of political innovations that made fascism a powerful force in Europe. First, he went beyond the vague promise of future national renewal, and proved the movement could actually seize power and operate a comprehensive government in a major country along fascist lines. Second, the movement claimed to represent the entire national community, not a fragment such as the working class or the aristocracy. He made a significant effort to include the previously alienated Catholic element. He defined public roles for the main sectors of the business community rather than allowing it to operate backstage. Third, he developed a cult of one-man leadership that focused media attention and national debate on his own personality. As a former journalist, Mussolini proved highly adept at exploiting all forms of mass media, including such new forms as motion pictures and radio. Fourth, he created a mass membership party, with free programs for young men, young women, and various other groups who could therefore be more readily mobilized and monitored. He shut down all alternative political formations and parties (but this step was not an innovation by any means). Like all dictators he made liberal use of the threat of extrajudicial violence, as well as actual violence by his Blackshirts, to frighten his opposition."

Anything about that seem vaguely familiar. The man wasn't broadly hated in Italy prior to WWII and in fact was loved by many. He did create a lavish cult of personality. The government crushed fundamental class conflicts in favor of corporatism.

And the trains ran on time.... (That's humor for those of you who don't remember this which sounds "Donald-like.)

Trump in many ways behaves like Mussolini. Consider "QUIZ: Who Said It—Donald Trump or Benito Mussolini?"

Yes, the American oligarchy is a current and immediate problem and billionaire Trump is an outsider who wants to crush that oligarchy.

With that said, I wouldn't put Benito Mussolini nor Trump in office. Not even if I knew Trump would crush that oligarchy with a Mussolini-type Fascist dictatorship adapted to the United States. There are worse problems.

In contrast to those liberal alarmists using the Hitler comparison, some complacent types say that with Hillary or Trump America would end up the same. No, if Hillary wins we won't find America is roughly in the same position we would if Trump wins.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The undemocratic Democratic Party caucus system - outdated and unfair

When I was preparing this update...

       ... I discovered something I really did not understand.

The Democratic Party Caucus system used in some states is fundamentally undemocratic.

Take the upcoming Washington State Democratic Party Caucus system to select 101 delegates to nominate the Democratic Presidential candidate as an example.

Fact 1. This coming Saturday, March 26, for 2± hours beginning at 10:00 am at a designated location for each precinct, Washington residents can gather at the caucuses, they can caucus and then they can vote. There is a caucus for each of the state’s roughly 7,000 voting precincts, which have an average of 564 registered voters apiece. Many precincts join together for caucuses, held in local schools, libraries and community centers. Problem. If you are a 30-something single mother required to be at her retail store job on Saturday to wait on caucus attendees going to and from the caucuses, you cannot participate. If you are a 17-year-old high school student who has never worked a day in your life, you can participate and vote. This system doesn't even pretend to be fairly accessible to everyone.

Fact 2. Anyone can attend, but to vote for presidential delegates you must be a registered voter and publicly attest that you feel like you are a Democrat. If you are not registered to vote, voter registration forms will be available so you can participate. Anyone who will be 17 years five months old or older by the March 26 can register and can vote in the caucuses. Problem. You do not need to be a Democrat, you need only say you are. The State of Washington does not include a party designation in voter registrations, so there are no laws involved.  It doesn't matter. If you have not bothered to register to vote because you don't usually vote, no problem. You can come with friends to the Party's party and they'll register you. They'll let you help pick the Democratic candidate. It's a cool event, so take selfies and don't bother to vote in November or in 2018 when such fun parties aren't held.

The rules are somewhat different in each state that holds caucuses. But don't believe any news stories describing large turnouts in caucus states. Last night one news story reported Long lines, big crowds at Idaho Democratic caucuses. And indeed, for a caucus night in Idaho the turnout was large, a whopping 11.2% of the Idaho voters who likely will vote Democratic in November participated. However, the participation rate in the Democratic primary in Missouri was 51.0%, Alabama 48.7% ... in fact, the lowest participation rate in a primary state was Louisiana with 36.3%.

The fact is that to date the 2016 voter participation rate in the caucuses has averaged 8.8% (using the likely November Democratic voter count for those states). To date the average number of voters selecting each pledged convention delegate in caucus states is 1,372.

In contrast, the likely November Democratic voter participation rate in the primaries held to date has averaged 47.7%. The average number of voters selecting each pledged convention delegate in primary states is 8,315.

Since the caucuses already held have awarded to Bernie Sanders 222 delegates and to Hillary Clinton 145, it is safe to say that the caucus system favors Sanders. After combining the caucus results with the primary results, to date Clinton has had to win 6.9% more voters per delegate than Sanders.

After yesterday, there will be five more states holding caucuses and 18 more states holding primaries. Hopefully because there are Superdelegates at the Democratic Convention some kind of fairness can be achieved despite various state Democratic Party bad decisions.

After August, the national Democratic Party organization needs to assure that the remaining state caucuses are replaced with primaries.

Monday, March 21, 2016

How the exciting Trump - Sanders phenomenon could kill the unicorns

The research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the EIU, a sister company of The Economist British newspaper, actually felt the need to put the number "12" on the risk associated with Trump being elected President.

The number is a function of probability of an event - in this case Trump becoming President, still "moderate" - and the impact - a qualitative judgement of the likely damage to companies' capacity to operate at target profitability. Trump's risk number is a 12 out of 20, That is same as "The rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilises the global economy", higher than "Chinese expansionism prompts a clash of arms in the South China Sea" which is an 8, and lower than "Beset by external and internal pressures, the EU begins to fracture" which is a 15.

Per the EIU website:
"We are outspoken in our views. Unlike our sister company, The Economist newspaper, much of our work is bespoke for clients and remains confidential. But we share the same fierce passion for independence and integrity. Clients work with us because we are not afraid to tell them what we really think. We never pander to internal agendas or work to buttress some preconceived strategy. We have no vested interest in any specific recommendation—we do not undertake follow-on work to help clients to implement strategies or plan M&A. We just analyse the facts and present our conclusions. We believe that our clients execute better strategies as a result."
The important thing to understand is that their "clients" are major international corporations, financial institutions, and individual investors among the 1%. In other words, everyone the average American loves to hate but on whom the American economy depends.

Donald Trump being the Republican nominee is something American workers and retirees depending on those 401(k)'s and IRA's should worry about. From August to November the economic risk will be considered...risky(?)... by the international investment community. American's don't care, of course. We should, but we don't.

During that same upcoming period problems in the tech economy in Silicon Valley have been forecast in the Silicon Valley Mercury News "Silicon Beat" page with one statement being " if we’re in a bubble, watch for it to burst in the second half of this year" and another statement being "some economists believe Santa Clara County and San Francisco have already seen their best days in the current economic cycle". 

Even this is reported without mentioning the context of the housing bubble in the same area because no one thinks "big picture" in America. We have become the distracted culture - think "squirrel".

Like it or not, the only portion of our economy - the tech sector's "unicorns" - will need investors to think it's a good time to assume greater risk this summer and fall. It's explained like this:
"More than 60 percent of “unicorns” — private companies valued at more than $1 billion — likely will need to raise more capital in the next three quarters. Nearly four in 10 unicorns will need more funds in the final two quarters of this year."
Trump the Erratic, and to a lessor degree, Sanders the Socialist, represent red flags to investors who otherwise would not care about the election. Our economy this summer and fall will need venture capitalist and other investors to pull money out of their secure "mattresses" and gamble it on a stable American economy. Otherwise a meaningful number of tech companies in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area will fail, while others will make significant layoffs.

The other domino that likely would be pushed over is the inflated housing market in this region. That would hit not only property owners but banks and mortgage companies - underwater anyone?

Americans are foolish, waking up every fourth year to participate in elections after three years of just sitting around fuming while other, more important elections go by. This time that foolishness could trigger a serious economic downturn in 2016-17. It won't be Trump's fault, nor Sanders'.

Not that the "undemocratic" Chinese system seems to do any better at keeping a stable economy. But if you must want us to have a democracy, fellow Americans, you must participate more regularly than you tweet. Otherwise you may kill the unicorns.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

How we could accomplish Bernie's goals by giving Finland back to the Russians and drop out of NATO

I've gotten used to many Americans seeing Bernie Sanders' economic proposals through rose colored glasses. But I must admit I was stunned to read a simplistic, uninformed article on The Atlantic's website What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries written by Finnish author Anu Partanen.

It was a defense of Bernie Sanders "socialist" policy proposals. It was an attack on the gentle arguments of Hilary Clinton attempting to lead others to the truth of why "it couldn't happen here."

I feel like someone needs to explain to Ms. Partanen directly, in a less gentle way, why her article represents so much ignorance. So I will make an attempt.

If you examine military expenditures as a percent of government expenditure as has the World Bank,what you discover is that the U.S. spends about 16% on the military, Finland and all Nordic countries less than 4%. If the U.S. were to reduce its military spending to 4%, that would be a simple 75% reduction in military spending. There would be billions available for Bernie's programs.

Why does this matter? Ms. Partanen explains: "When I lived in Finland, as a middle-class citizen I paid income tax at a rate not much higher than what I now pay in New York City." She is correct and like the teenagers and 20-somethings supporting Bernie, she basically thinks we Americans ought to be able to afford key socialist programs such as those offered in the "Nordic" countries.

Ms. Partanen simply ignores recent events this year such as U.S. Air Force to send F-15 jets to Finland and American F-15s to join 1st Finland drill over ‘increased Russian activity' which aren't in her relatively narrow-minded frame of reference. History, after all, should never get in the way of a good argument, as Donald Trump has successfully proved.

Ms. Partanen has written a lot about the Finnish education system but apparently she missed Finnish history going through that system. Russia has invaded Finland numerous times when it was part of Swedish Empire (see Wikipedia entry) and the Russian Empire eventually overpowered Sweden to make Finland a part of its empire in 1809. Currently many civilian Finns are delusional believing either Russia's Putin has no reason to annex it today or, worse, that by themselves they could repel a Russian invasion.

Finland is not the Ukraine, but Russians in Finland constitute a linguistic and ethnic minority in Finland. About 30,000 people have citizenship of the Russian Federation, and Russian is the mother language of about 70,000 people in Finland. And there is the Karelian issue.

Perhaps the U.S. could follow Ron Paul's suggestion and withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). We would save a bundle in military spending so that we Americans can enjoy the benefits the Nordic folks have. The Nordic folks could decide to pungle up an additional 20% of their GDP to pay us to share our military power. They could do that by doubling their taxes and/or sacrificing those neat benefits they seemingly can easily pay for.

In another blindness to history, Ms. Partanen dismisses Hillary Clinton's argument that folks in the Nordic countries adopted socialist programs in part because of the homogeneity of the population. She points to current problems in Sweden as evidence the Nordic countries are heterogeneous. Is it ignorance or deliberate dissembling that she neatly ignores the fact that the Nordic countries adopted socialistic programs over a half a century ago when, in fact, the populations were homogeneous?

Yes, today homogeneity is not the situation as indicated in headlines such as

And guess what. This month this headline appeared: Decade of struggle puts Finnish tradition of consensus at risk. Maybe Ms. Partanen should take a trip back to do extensive research on what's going on in Finland.

Ms. Partanen was correct in challenging the idea that the Nordic countries don't produce innovation in their private sector. They do.

She didn't mention that the collapse of the Finnish company Nokia had a significant impact on the nation's very small economy, though.

She does mention Sweden's Volvo, but not as another indicator that things are not all perfect. Volvo Cars was purchased by Ford in 1999 and sold again in 2010 becoming wholly owned subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China. Volvo Aero in 2012 was sold to Britain's GKN Aerospace Engine Systems.

Finally, I'm reluctant to mention this, but Ms. Partanen has left me no choice.


Is she talking about the Nordic countries? Or perhaps all the members of the Nordic Council? I'm assuming all this Nordic brilliance has nothing to do with the concept of the Nordic race and certainly nothing to do with Nordicism.

Ms. Partanen is pretty clear on the "Nordic countries" repeating the term several times. She's not including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have "observer" status on the Nordic Council.

One of her key points is "Nordic people have made their decisions out of self-interest" and she uses the term "Nordics" a number of times. I think we need some language clarity here. Perhaps some quick research could help.

Do the thousands of Somalis who immigrated to Finland 20 years ago, many Finnish citizens who have children born in Finland, think of themselves as "Nordic" people?

According to the article A New book about Finnish Somalis launched in Finland about a 2015 book titled Suomen somalit – Finnish Somalis - tells us that "young people born in Finland have difficulties in finding their true identity. Even though they are born in Finland and have lived in the country all their lives, they do not feel that the society accepts them as Finns in the true meaning. At the same time they do not feel as Somalis either, as they might have never even visited the Somalia."

Perhaps Ms. Partanen should find a way to co-write a book with Nura Farah, the the first author of Somali background to publish a novel in Finland. As noted in one article about Farah "Her new home was in the grip of a deep recession, and according to Farah there was a fair amount of racism. At school she was bullied because of her skin colour, and her classmates called her ’Neekeri’ (a racial slur that can be translated as ’nigger’ or ’negro’), rather than her first name, Nura."

I have a feeling that these Somalis do not think of themselves a "Nordic." Are the thousands of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan who arrived in Finland in 2015 intent on becoming "Nordic"?

In other words, the Nordic people are just now discovering what a country of people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds is. And it is doubtful they live in countries that today would for the first time embrace broad socialist proposals. They are having a hard enough time keeping right wing parties from gaining control.

Ms. Partanen's article which obviously "Feels the Bern" and criticizes Hilary Clinton has much in common with most articles of that type written by Americans. Her special point is that the Nordics are a great example for Americans.

She lacks just one thing - an understanding of the truth of her own history, culture, politics, and economics. She shares that with most American writers of similar articles, and with Donald Trump.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hillary's Michigan Loss: Ignore the exit polls and start worrying, Democratic Party officials

The press today is citing exit polls on what happened in the Democratic Primary in Michigan. When Democratic voters in Michigan were queried about their votes with pollsters giving a set of rational issue-based reasons to choose from, those voters appear to have voted after thoughtful consideration.

Sure, let's all be foolish about this. When voters are queried by the press about why they have voted for a candidate, the one thing they will not be discussing is the gnawing prejudices that exist deep in the back of their minds.

The demographic background of each Michigan County is far more enlightening.The numbers are only just beginning to be released and the detailed, precinct-by-precinct, analysis statewide isn't going to be available for probably a week. But here's what I do know about the Michigan vote.

Bernie Sanders won big in Western Michigan. A good example is Kent County, the County Seat being Grand Rapids. The makeup of the population is 80% White, 10% Black, 2% Asian, 8% other race. The turnout overall was 39% of registered voters. Of the total votes cast in Kent County, 58% were in the Republican Primary, 40% were in the Democratic Primary. Bernie received 62% of the Democratic vote, Hillary 37%. Look at the population breakdown. Look at the fact that the majority folks in this County did vote Republican.

The only county in Michigan Hillary won by a meaningful margin is Wayne County, the County Seat being Detroit. The makeup of the population is 52% White, 41% Black, 3% Asian, 4% other race. The turnout overall was 31% of registered voters with an alarmingly low turnout in Detroit of 25%. Of the total votes cast, 33% were in the Republican Primary, 67% were in the Democratic Primary. Hillary received 60% of the Democratic vote, Bernie 38%.

The pundits are now saying Hillary is only winning in the South as last night she won Mississippi with 83% of the vote while Sanders got only 17%. However, of the votes cast in Mississippi 64% were in the Republican Primary.

No Electoral College votes from Mississippi will be cast for a Democratic Presidential candidate in November.

Michigan is a state that frequently votes Democratic in Presidential elections. It is a critical state for the Democrats to win in November. The problem to overcome is represented by the fact that 1.32 million Republicans voted last night, compared to 1.12 million Democrats. If the Democrats lose Michigan in the November Presidential Election they will have lost the Electoral College Vote.

It's time for Democratic Party leaders, and perhaps the few members of the press who aren't morons, to focus on the truth. Whether in the North or the South, Black Democrats are voting overwhelming for Hillary. Suburban White Democrats are voting for Bernie. Like it or not, the Democratic Party also has been split by the 2016 Primaries and the split is racial.

In November Sanders' suburban White Democrats will not carry Michigan if Black Democrats are demoralized and don't vote. I don't see how a grumpy old white guy socialist candidate who would be a President with a House of Representatives dominated by racist Republicans could give Black Democrats any hope that progress can be made. The same should be true for women Democrats.

If the Democratic primary results in Illinois and Ohio follow similar demographic lines, President Donald Trump, anyone???

Thursday, March 3, 2016

No, folks, that's not what Super Tuesday's election results mean

According to the press, Donald Trump may have the Republican nomination wrapped up after his big victories on Super Tuesday. After all, he now has pledged to vote for him in the Republican Convention 27.3% of the delegates needed to become the Republican candidate.

Yeah, that's right, the guy many are proclaiming has already won only has 27.3% or 338 of the 1,237 delegates needed to nominate someone. Meanwhile the other candidates have between them 31.5% or 390 of the 1,237 delegates needed to nominate someone.

Essentially, after the first ballot the other candidates could release their delegates to vote for anyone whose name is put forward in nomination - like Mitt Romney, for instance. Perhaps that may explain why he suddenly has become the spokesman for the anti-Trump wing of the party.

Now on to the Democratic candidates. A total of 2,382 delegates are need to nominate someone. Right now the indication is that Hillary Clinton has 609 pledged delegates or 25.6% while Bernie Sanders has 412 delegates or 17.3%.

But one has to keep in mind that the Democratic Party has designated 712 delegate seats out of the 4,763 as "unpledged", sometimes called "Superdelegates." These delegates decide on their own who to vote for in the Convention. They are prominent Democratic Party members:
  • 20 distinguished party leaders (current and former presidents, vice-presidents, congressional leaders, and DNC chairs) (DPLs)
  • 21 Democratic governors (including territorial governors and the Mayor of the District of Columbia)
  • 46 Democratic members of the United States Senate (including Washington, DC shadow senators)
  • 193 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives (including non-voting delegates)
  • 437 elected members of the Democratic National Committee (including the chairs and vice-chairs of each state's Democratic Party)
Of these, 453 have committed to vote for Hillary Clinton, 19 for Bernie Sanders, with 239 still expressing no opinion at this time.

Perhaps correctly, the press adds those committed Superdelegates to the candidates' totals. With those added, Hillary Clinton has 1,062 or 44.6% of the 2,382 delegates needed while Bernie Sanders has 431 or 17.3% of the delegates needed. Still, Clinton isn't even halfway to having the delegates she needs and getting the rest will require a long steady campaign perhaps all the way to the June California primary.

But as I wrote three days ago, for the Democrats that isn't the most important information coming from Super Tuesday.

As I indicated the outcome in four states would provide some idea of the problems facing the Democratic candidate in getting enough Electoral College votes to be elected President. Those four states which are unpredictable in November Presidential elections - Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Virginia - did vote on March 2 pursuant to each state's rules.

I'll start with Colorado. The Republicans have a tightly controlled system for selecting delegates in April that has nothing to do with their 948,658 registered voters. The state had 918,259 registered Democrats. They held caucuses. A total of 121,198 or 13.2% participated in the caucuses. Bernie Sanders did get more people to the caucuses than Clinton. But we have no relevant information from the Democratic caucuses turnout regarding who the 9 Electoral College votes will go to from Colorado.

In Tennessee Clinton won the Democratic vote with 223,577 votes of the 336,012 Democratic votes cast. But Trump won the Republican vote with 309,948 votes of the 794,012 Republican votes cast. Cruz go 195,587 of the Republican votes. The Democrats are very unlikely to pick up Tennessee's 11 Electoral College votes.

In Arkansas, Bill Clinton's home state, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic vote with 142,798 votes of the 206,756 Democratic votes cast. Trump won the Republican vote with 129,245 votes of the 347,377 Republican votes cast. Ted Cruz got 119,707 Republican votes. Whether the Clinton's could get the 6 Arkansas Electoral College votes is very doubtful, though possible, if Bill and Hillary spent a lot of time there. But that would be pretty risky.

This leaves us with Virginia. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic vote with 503,991 votes of the 779,934 Democratic votes cast. Trump won the Republican vote with 355,961 votes of the 1,024,933 Republican votes cast. Marco Rubio got 327,045 Republican votes, coming close to Trump. This indicates that there is at least a chance Clinton could get the 13 Virginia Electoral College votes if Trump is the Republican candidate.