Monday, September 05, 2016

Which State Is More Likely To Go For Hillary-- Arizona Or Missouri?


Yesterday on CNN's State of the Union, Republican Senator Jeff Flake was practically predicting that Hillary is going to win his state. His state is Arizona, which has only voted for one Democrat since Harry Truman in 1948. Flake said he doesn't plan to personally vote for either Hillary or Señor Trumpanzee. "I just know," he told Jake Tapper, "that I would like to vote for Donald Trump. It’s not comfortable to not support your nominee. But given the positions that he’s taken and the tone and tenor of his campaign, I simply can’t... Arizona should still be a red state. But Donald Trump, with the rhetoric that he's under and the characterizations of, you know, many of the state's population, have put the state in play. And unfortunately, you know, that leads to Democrats spending a lot of money here, unfortunately for Republicans."

The one Democrat Arizona did vote for since 1948 was Bill Clinton in 1996. Hard to believe? Here's how it happened:
Bill Clinton- 46.52
Bob Dole- 44.29
Ross Perot- 7.98
And this year, Bill's wife could well get the same kind of help from Gary Johnson. Yesterday AP speculated that "the Libertarian Party nominee's best chance to influence the presidential race may come in Arizona, where the former New Mexico governor appeals to a group of finicky conservatives who make up part of the GOP base." And Flake agrees that it's possible, calling Johnson "an easy out for some people in our party."
Señor Trumpanzee's immigration speech went over poorly among normal people

The GOP's recent struggle with independent-minded, small-government Libertarians was clear before Trump's speech Wednesday in Phoenix, when he reaffirmed a hard line on immigration. And his stance could alienate the roughly one-quarter of Hispanic voters in the state who usually align with Republicans.

"I think that right now we're at a tipping point, where at any moment we are going to begin to see an outpouring of support," said Latino GOP strategist Juan Hernandez, who works for Johnson in Arizona.

Sensing an opportunity herself, Clinton began airing television advertisements in the state Friday, and has reserved $500,000 in ad time through mid-September.

Democratic strategist Andy Barr said Hispanic turnout was "the multimillion-dollar question." About one-third of the state's population identifies as Latino, but their share of the vote ranges between 12 percent and 16 percent, according to public and private polling.

"This closer it gets to 20 percent, the more our chances of winning go up," Barr said.

...Four years ago, Libertarian candidates in Arizona drew enough votes away from Republicans that Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema won election to the U.S. House.

Flake, who had endeared himself to many Libertarians while serving in the House, won his Senate race that year, too.

"It's a really sore spot for the party," Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert said of those 2012 results. "You could see people frustrated, throwing away their vote and going with a third-party candidate."

The views of most Libertarians, focused on personal liberty and small government, overlap more with Republicans than Democrats. Johnson's call for dramatically lower business taxes and regulation to unburden entrepreneurs resonates with Matthew Sherman of Phoenix, who describes himself as more as a conservative than as a Republican.

"I'm for whoever has the best plan on startup companies," said the 31-year-old who's working on a business networking app. "So far, that's Gary."

Republican Dave Richins, a councilman in Mesa City, said Johnson is conservative on spending, but tolerant on social issues, which he calls "a pragmatic combination."

"For me, a lifelong Republican, I don't agree with everything Johnson proposes," said Richins, a Johnson organizer. "But I find his pragmatism refreshing. That's how we get things done."

Johnson's hands-off approach to government also includes decriminalizing marijuana, and he could benefit from a November ballot proposal in Arizona on that question.

"That's another reason for Libertarians to vote in higher numbers," said Barr, who is running the decriminalization campaign. "We're inclined to believe that could increase Johnson's performance."
That's 11 electoral votes that should be El Trumpanzee's that Hillary could wind up with. Missouri has 10 electoral votes that Republicans have come to depend on. Obama came close in 2008 but only scored 44% against Romney. This year a Hillary win there could be even stranger than a Libertarian-fueled win for her in Arizona: Bosnians. Missouri had a lot of them-- 50-70,000 Bosnian Muslim refugees. And they hate Señor Trumpanzee and are registering to vote for the express purpose of making sure he loses. "Bosnian Americans in Missouri are expected to turn out in record numbers this November," wrote Ryan Schuessler for The Guardian. "With recent polls showing that Hillary Clinton and Trump are virtually tied in Missouri, it could be a voting bloc that swings the election."

These Bosnians have 3 problems with El Trumpanzee: he's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and beloved of the Serbian fascists these Bosnians see as their mortal enemies. "During the Republican national convention,"wrote Schuessler, "a man wearing a 'Make Serbia Great Again' hat was photographed several times. When Vice-President Joe Biden visited Belgrade earlier in August, hundreds of Serbian nationalists gathered to chant, 'Vote for Trump!' The group was led by rightwing Serbian politician Vojislav Seselj, who was accused of helping to orchestrate the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and other non-Serbs from 'greater Serbia' in the 1990s. Bosnian voters in St Louis, home to a substantial number of Srebrenica widows and survivors, took note of Seselj’s endorsement. 'Some people reacted in a silly manner-- monkey see, monkey do,' Tucakovic quipped. 'But some people are actually concerned. You see people like [Seselj] that are supporting Trump, and that’s not a really good sign.'" Well, it might be a very good sign... for Hillary and perhaps even for longshot Democratic Senate candidate Jason Kander.

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