Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Trumpanzee Toxicity Up And Down The Ballot Is Becoming Clearer As Republicans Begin To Panic


The CBS battleground polls of likely voters that came out over the weekend for Virginia, Arizona and Nevada, is probably worrying for operatives at the NRSC and NRCC. Sure, the results were about the presidential race but these people have long written Mr. Trumpanzee off and their worries are about Republican candidates for Congress. Hillary's 49-37% lead in Virginia, pretty much takes it out of the realm of "battleground" and highlights real trouble for the GOP in 3 districts, Republican-held seats VA-04, VA-05, and VA-10 and possibly VA-07, where an anti-Trump tsunami in the Richmond suburbs could sweep Dave Brat out of office and replace him with Democrat Eileen Bedell. That might happen. Far more likely is that the open seat that Randy Forbes gave up (VA-04) is going to Democratic state Senator Donald McEachin, the open seat that Robert Hurt gave up could go to Jane Dittmar and the swingy blue-trending suburban 10th district in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties could toss out right-wing extremist Barbara Comstock and replace her with centrist LuAnn Bennett. Mr. Trumpanzee could help turn Virginia's congressional delegation from 3 Democrats and 8 Republicans to 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

95% of Virginia Democrats are now behind Clinton while Trump is at 79% GOP support and is likely to lose some of that to the new conservative on the block, Evan McMullin. The pollsters say that the "Commander-in-Chief" test looms large in Virginia and "has become the top decision-making criteria for voters now. Clinton leads on it: 57% say she is prepared while 36% say so of Trump."

So while swing state Virginia is looking less swingy and more solidly Democratic, deep red Arizona, which has only voted for a Democratic presidential candidate once since Truman in 1948, is shaky ground for Señor Trumpanzee, who leads 44-42%, "forcing Trump to defend usually-red territory, in part because of such strong Hispanic support behind Clinton. In Arizona, 80 percent of Hispanic voters feel they're more motivated to vote this year than previous years, and don't believe Donald Trump treats all people fairly." The attacks on the Khan family and on John McCain has also hurt Trumpanzee among independent voters. Ironically, if Trump continues to lose ground in Arizona, he's liable to drag McCain down and allow a weak, conservative New Dem, Ann Kirkpatrick, to win the Senate seat. The NRCC is also sweating two red-leaning districts-- Kirkpatrick's AZ-01 where a terrible Democratic candidate-- ex-Republican Tom O'Halleran-- will win a natural GOP pickup and McSally's AZ-02, where progressive Matt Heinz could oust the freshman congresswoman. The Trumpanzee meltdown also makes one of the 3 worst Democrats in the House, reactionary Kyrsten Sinema, safe in a Republican-leaning AZ-09.

The third poll was in Nevada and Clinton is less ahead than most people expected, leading Señor Trumpanzee 43-41%. It looks like 2 Republican incumbents are in trouble there: Cresent Hardy in a really big way-- smart money is on Ruben Kihuen-- and Mark Amodei, where any more erosion among Republicans could put Chip Evans into Congress. With any luck-- and any more Trumpanzee antics-- Nevada's congressional delegation could go from 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat to 4 Democrats, since even Harry Reid's weak pick in NV-03 to replace the retiring Joe Heck, Jacky Rosen, could beat perennial loser Danny Tarkanian.

Yesterday a new poll in Georgia by JMC Analytics showed Clinton continuing to pull ahead of Mr. T-- now with 44% to his 37% (with Gary Johnson at 7% and Jill Stein at 1%). Although it really is feasible for her to win Georgia, the NRCC and NRSC have no worries since the state party is essentially moribund and the elected officials there are so far to the right that they endorse Republicans on a regular basis, as Blue Dog, David Scott, one of Congress' most corrupt members, just did in the Senate race. As for the House, there are no Democrats running against Buddy Carter (GA-01), Doug Collins (GA-09), Jody Hice (GA-10), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) and Tom Graves (GA-14) and just token, vanity candidates challenging Tom Price (GA-06), Austin Scott (GA-08) and Rick Allen (GA-12).

Even Orange County, California, once the heartland of American right-wing polictics, is accelerating it's trend towards the Democrats. Over the weekend, the Orange County Register reported that Democratic voter registration is surging, while old white Republicans die off. "[I]n the past six months, the pace of change has been four times as fast as the 26-year average-- due in part to the GOP’s controversial presidential nominee. That could hurt the local Republicans in November’s down-ticket races."
"Trump has become our best marketing tool," said Henry Vandermeir, chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County. "He’s insulted pretty much every constituency in this county, which has helped drive Democratic registration and turnout to new highs."

...Bernie Sanders attracted young adults who might have otherwise not participated. And the competitive Democratic presidential primary in June boosted turnout, while the Republican contest was already decided.

As a result, more Democrats than Republicans cast ballots in the county. And it was the first time in 48 years that more county ballots were cast for Democratic than Republican presidential candidates.

...There are two close state legislative races where turnout could play a decisive roll: The state Senate race to replace termed-out Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, in the tri-county district where GOP Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang is facing Democratic activist Josh Newman; and Democrat Sharon Quirk Silva’s challenge of incumbent Assemblywoman Young Kim, R-Fullerton.

It could also help Democrat Michele Martinez’s challenge of incumbent Republican county Supervisor Andrew Do. And Democrat Doug Applegate, who finished less than 7 points behind Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, in the primary, is drawing attention from donors who see a chance for an upset of the incumbent, a Trump supporter.

...Republicans are now 39.7 percent of county voters, an all-time low. Democrats are at 34 percent, their highest since 1992. Voters with no party preference account for 22.6 percent, down from the all-time high of 23.6 percent last year.

That means Republicans’ 8-percentage point edge in February has shrunk to 5.7 points.

The long-term trend is largely due to shifting demographics. Latinos, who favor the Democratic Party over the GOP by more than 2-1, are 18 percent of the electorate and growing. And voters ages 18-34, who heavily favored Republicans in 2002, are now more likely to register as Democrats.

Republicans still prevail among voters in 24 of the county’s 34 cities, although the three biggest-- Anaheim, Santa Ana and Irvine-- are Democratic. In July, Tustin became the 10th city in the county to turn Democrat. That’s twice the total of a year ago. Fullerton is poised to follow suit, with the shrinking Republican advantage there down to 144 voters.

The other Democratic cities are Buena Park, Garden Grove, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach and Stanton.
The incompetent DCCC didn't bother recruiting candidates against Ed Royce-- and they're not helping the grassroots Democratic candidate, Brett Murdock (CA-39)-- nor against Mimi Walters (CA-45), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) and Darrell Issa (CA-49). If an anti-Trumpanzee tsunami developed in Orange County, Issa can still be swept away by Doug Applegate's strong grassroots effort, but a vaguely competent DCCC would be working to end Issa's and Royce's career's now and hoping for the good luck they'd need to end Rohrabacher's. But thanks to Pelosi, we do not have a vaguely competent DCCC.

Chuck Todd wondered aloud Monday morning if down-ballot Republicans can avoid an anti-Trumpanzee tsunami. Short answer: nope. "Republicans focused on the downballot contests," he wrote, "are already looking for a parachute" and pointed to Colorado Republican Mike Coffman's TV ad (up top) promising to stand up to Trump if the voters reelect him, which is unlikely.
But there's one little problem with this kind of strategy: There usually aren't enough parachutes to go around for a party that loses a presidential contest, especially when it comes to Senate races. Since 2004, 80% of the Senate races that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report designated as a Toss Up before Election Day (20 out of 25) broke the same way the presidential race did in that particular state. So for every Dean Heller who won Nevada's Senate race in 2012 despite Barack Obama's victory in the state in the presidential election, there are four Norm Colemans (who lost his Senate seat in Minnesota in '08) or Scott Browns (who lost in Massachusetts in '12). And that history is particularly important this election season, when the Cook Report says there are five presidential battleground states-- Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania-- also holding Toss Up Senate races.

The one problem with that is Chuck Schumer's sincere and long-held belief that Democratic primary voters absolutely cannot be trusted with picking the "right" nominees. So he forced weak, possibly unelectable candidates on the party in Pennsylvania (fracking lobbyist Katie McGinty) and Ohio (ancien régime conservaDem Ted Strickland) and is attempting something far worse in Florida (spoiled and thoroughly corrupt rich kid and "ex"-Republican Patrick Murphy). Only Schumer's authoritarian nature and pig-headed narcissism could keep the Republicans in control of the Senate in 2016. What can Democrats do about it? Nothing in Pennsylvania and Ohio at this point. But... please help elect a progressive Senate and a progressive House where there are still opportunities to win:
Goal Thermometer

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At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should have started panicking a long time ago. Their base dissed them big time by giving him the candidacy, so who are their supporters these days anyway?

Trump sure knows how to keep his face in the press! Each day he says something more insane that then hits the front page. Soon practically everyone in the Republican Party will have jumped off of the Trump ship. He has even alienated right wing wacko Republicans, security officials, the ex head of the CIA and the military. Who's next? And today Trump implied to his base they should get their guns and going after Hillary. He is truly mentally disabled and incredibly dangerous. At this stage, he seems to have dug his own death bed.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree and hope you are right!

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The site linked below is a map-based summary of up-to-date state poll results which can be retrieved by clicking on any state and which are used to give a projected electoral vote total.

There is page on the senate races.


John Puma


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