Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Endorsement Motivations


Every wonder how endorsers decide who to endorse? Let's look at a race in Florida, the one for the U.S. Senate seat. The most valuable endorsement you can get in a Democratic primary is Obama's. So how did he pick between Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson? Murphy consistently voted with the Republicans on almost everything Obama claimed was important to him-- even direct attacks. I mean there were a whole contingent of corrupt conservative Democrats like Murphy who voted with the GOP on Keystone Pipeline XL every time it came up. But almost none of them went along with the GOP when they proposed a bill to remove Obama from the decision-making process. But Murphy did. Grayson opposed Keystone XL, of course, and proposed a resolution challenging the constitutionality of the GOP bill Murphy backed. Of the 7 right-wing Democrats to vote for the Republican witch hunt against Hillary-- their so-called Benghazi Committee-- only 3 are still in Congress... and one of them is Murphy. So why did Obama endorse him and lie in ads to Democratic voters by claiming the reactionary Murphy is "a progressive" and a defender of Social Security (even though Murphy offered to support legislation to lower benefits as part of a compromise with his pals the Republicans?

It's not much of a mystery. Aside from being hounded by Chuck Schumer and his Wall Street allies to get Murphy into the Senate to "balance out" Elizabeth Warren, we were told by a high up staffer who works for Joe Biden that Obama did it to get contributions to his uber-expensive presidential library, ostensibly from Murphy's rich, crooked father, from the super-wealthy Saudi family that sponsors Murphy (the notorious Al-Rashids) and from Schumer's Wall Street patrons. Our Obama would do something like that? Something that disgusting? Yeah... he's from the Chicago Democratic Machine; it's what they do.

Yesterday there were a conflicting endorsement stories in central Florida. The Brady anti-gun campaign looked at FL-09 and feared that NRA poster child Darren Soto could get the Democratic nomination. But instead of endorsing Dena Grayson, an avid supporter of gun safety regulations, who is best positioned to beat Soto, they clumsily backed Susannah Randolph, a candidate who might take away enough support from Grayson to allow Soto to slip in. But the Randolph campaign's celebrations over the endorsement today might be dampened by the fact that DFA (Democracy for America) seems to have unendorsed her. They pulled their phone-banking out of the district and removed her from the list of candidates on their website. Why? [When I asked a DFA executive, she responded by e-mail, "Hi Howie- thanks for flagging - she's back on the website now." And, sure enough, she was back on the website, or at least on one list of candidates, albeit not the list on their site's front page. Odd.] A couple of weeks ago I saw a tweet from Lucy Flores, which alerted me to a problem for Susannah's campaign. It led to this statement which has been circulating in the progressive blogosphere ever since:

I know Susannah for years and she's a decent person and a committed activist. Blue America announced early on we wouldn't endorse in this race because both Susannah and Dena are both great candidates, while Soto is a typical nightmarish conservaDem (endorsed by the New Dems, Congress' Republican wing of the Democratic Party). But polling-- and now this whole flap over sexual harassment-- has made us worry that a vote for Susannah just weakens Dena's chance to defeat Soto. So we endorsed Dena. (Please consider contributing to her campaign here.)

In another Orlando area district, the DCCC got clueless anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, to unload half a million dollars in ads for weak puppet candidate, Val Demings, even though the more independent-minded and progressive candidate in the race, Bob Poe, has been running all his TV spots about banning automatic weapons and taking an even stronger and more relatable anti-violence stand than Bloomberg's own anti-gun organization!

How about newspapers... how do they do their endorsements? Tangent: there was one in the Salt Lake Tribune last week by David Irvine explaining why he, a lifelong Republican, is voting for Hillary. Irvine was a member of the state House of Representatives and used to be the chairman of the Davis County Republican Party, in the very red suburbs between Salt Lake City and Ogden. It's notTrump country. Cruz won the primary with 68.4% and Kasich came in second with 20.3%. Trump brought up the rear with 11.3% (with just over half the votes Bernie Sanders got in Davis Co.) Irvine wasn't really so much as endorsing Hillary as he was denouncing Trumpanzee-- and the Republican leaders, like Paul Ryan, who back him. "It is unfortunate that so many of those who claim to be leaders of the congressional and presidential wings of the Republican Party have long since made their Faustian bargains and are actively endorsing a totally self-centered know-nothing who behaves like the caricature of a banana-republic dictator," he wrote... "There's a point where this failure to withdraw an endorsement becomes a self-indicting embrace of a demagogue's values. Trump is riding astride the Four Horsemen of Calumny he has resurrected from an earlier and equally dismal Republican playbook: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear... It's entirely possible that this election could turn on Utah's electoral votes. Recognizing that reality, every Clinton vote is crucially important. A nonvote or a Johnson vote is a vote for Trump."

But endorsements or not, and with a new poll showing that half of the voters won't consider casting a voter from the Trumpanzee, thinks are looking more dire by the day for the GOP. Politico, though, thinks they've found a silver-lining in the Republican cloud. Although Latinos rushing the register to vote in time for the November election have swelled Democratic Party ranks in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, the opposite is happening in states where large numbers of voters have keep their Democratic Party registrations but have long ago stopped voting for Democrats. Red counties in Florida, North Carolina and backward areas of Pennsylvania (primarily in the southwestern part of the state) are seeing lot of voters re-registering as Republicans, in line with how they've actually been voting. Writing for Politico Monday, Ben Schreckinger reported that "registration numbers in Eastern and Midwestern battleground states offer a rare piece of welcome news to Republicans bracing for the possibility of a November massacre." Clearly this is part of a partisan realignment that is coming into focus this year as Trump courts white, alienated blue color workers abandoned by Wall Street Democrats and Hillary courts traditional suburban professional that have been the mainstay of the GOP. And these numbers are very real.
In Pennsylvania-- where Democrats’ registration advantage has fallen by a fifth since the 2012 election to 915,000 voters-- more than 85,000 former Democrats have become Republicans this year, almost three times the number of voters who made the opposite switch.

The party-switching has been especially lopsided in Pennsylvania counties in the southwest region, coal country, and the northeast, which includes Scranton. Megan Sweeney, the communications director for the state Republican Party, and Charlie Gerow, a Republican strategist based in Harrisburg, said the party-switching was a mix of push and pull factors. “Certainly part of it is Trump-motivated,” Gerow said. My view is that a lot more of it is motivated by the disgust that many Democrats have for the administration.”

In North Carolina, Democrats’ voter registration advantage shrunk by 44,000 between last June and this May, more than twice the rate it fell at it during that period last cycle. As of August 13, the Democratic advantage had dwindled to 641,000.

The picture in North Carolina is complicated by the rise of unaffiliated voters. Even more striking than Democrats’ shrinking registration advantage over Republicans is the influx of new residents into the state who do not register with either party but tend to be less tied than longtime residents to the white Southern culture that has taken a shine to Trump. The number of independents has surged almost 40 percent since 2008, from roughly 1.4 million to more than 1.9 million. During that period, the Republican rolls have remained essentially static and Democrats have lost about 200,000 voters.

...More concerning for Democrats should be Florida, where the party’s registration advantage has shrunk to 259,000 voters-- less than half what it was during the 2012 election.

Florida, like North Carolina, has seen a surge in independent voter registrations in recent years, but in a crucial swing state with a large and growing minority population, the shrinking advantage is nonetheless disappointing.

So far this year, Florida Republicans have added close to 70,000 more voters to their rolls than Democrats have. “That [change], especially when you’re talking about a state that Obama carried by less than 100,000 votes last time, could be significant,” said Cauvillon, the Louisiana pollster.

The strength of Trump’s ground operation in the primaries varied wildly from state to state, but in Florida, under the direction of former Rick Scott aide Karen Giorno, his campaign has taken credit for registering 35,000 new Republicans and bringing 5,000 independents and Democrats into the party.

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At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama no longer hides being on the take, yet there are still too many fools who consider him the best president evah. They must enjoy being betrayed.


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