Thursday, September 28, 2017

Anti-Trump Tsunami Continues To Build-- GOP Wipeouts In New Hampshire And Florida This Week


Annette Taddeo, rising star

Tuesday was a big day, electorally, for Democrats-- and not because Alabama Republicans nominated a psychotic extremist, Roy Moore, in their primary runoff. (Moore will face off against moderate Democrat, Doug Jones, on December 12; every poll shows Moore winning. Count on Alabama to go for the crazy; they're still fighting the Civil War. The latest poll--this week)-- by Google Consumer Surveys shows Moore ahead 58-42%.) No, the good news for Democrats came in New Hampshire and Florida.

Last night everyone was talking about Quinnipiac's new poll finding that 57% of voters disapprove of the way Trump is doing his job and that 56% of voters-- including 57% of independents-- think he is "not fit to serve as president." (60% say he doesn't have good leadership skills; 67% say he's not level headed; and 59% say he's dishonest.) But worse for the Republicans was deeper down in the poll. Question: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?" Overall 15% approve and 78% disapprove. Worse yet, among independent voters-- who will decide which party controls Congress in 2018-- only 11% approve, while 81% disapprove. 81%!

OK, let's look at Florida first. Annette Taddeo won the special election for a previously Republican-held seat in southwest Miami's 40th state Senate district by a Republican by beating Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a former contestant on Trump's Apprentice reality show. She will be the first Democratic Latina in the state Senate, beating Diaz 22,649 (50.9%) to 20,985 (47.2%). In 2016 Republican Frank Artiles beat Democrat Dwight Bullard 100,170 (50.62%) to 80,551 (40.70%). Artiles, another Republican racist was caught calling African-American senators "niggers" and hiring hookers on the state payroll-- and was forced to resign. The 40th is a majority Latino district-- almost 70% of the voters-- but the registration numbers are about equal with almost a third of the voters neither Democrat nor Republican. Hillary beat Trump in the district last year. This time the GOP outspent Taddeo $3.5 million to $3 million in the special election. Diaz tried spreading a very typical Republican lie, this one that Taddeo was a communist supporter of Colombia's FARC guerrillas. That didn't get very far when her mother did a radio ad explaining that Annette's dad had been kidnapped by the FARC, which is why the family fled to Florida.

Darcy, Howie, Annette, Hilda
We first got to know her back in 2008 when she was running for Congress against Debbie Wassermann Schultz crony Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R). Problem was, Wassermann Schultz at the time was every bit the fully-formed corrupt sack of garbage who stole the Democratic nomination for Hillary... but on a smaller scale. She was the chair of the DCCC "Red to Blue" program, whose only job was to flip red seats blue. Instead she loudly and publicly announced she would not oppose her pal Ileana-- and even dragged other puppet candidates into her shit. Today, in one of her endless streams of spam, Wasserman Schultz claims her mom, Ann, wrote "I always knew my daughter Debbie was going to do great things. I know every mother thinks that about her children, but Debbie is special." Yes Debbie is special and her indictment is supposedly very close. Her chances of winning in tatters, Annette handled the difficult situation with grace and has gone on to holding several party jobs and now to this stupendous win at a point where Wassermann Schultz is an almost universally despised pariah in the Democratic Party.

As late as Tuesday morning, the Miami New Times was writing doubtfully that "if the Dems somehow snag back a state Senate seat in a Miami special election today, it will be big news for a party hoping against hope it can capitalize on Donald Trump's abysmal polling to swing momentum back their way in the Sunshine State." Marc Caputo reported for Politico that Trump dragged Diaz down.
Headed into Election Day, Republicans held a less than 500-vote lead following early voting. It was closer than the party hoped, but with a history of winning decidedly on Election Day, consultants and GOP cheerleaders alike had an overwhelming sense of confidence.

So, what happened?

“Taddeo got lucky. Part Trump. Part Irma. Part Arrogance,” said one dejected GOP operative... Trump is deeply unpopular in Florida's 40th Senate District, which he lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 16 percentage points in November. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, however, carried the district by about 3 percentage points and the prior state senator, Republican Frank Artiles, won by about 10 points... For Republicans looking forward, Trump's lack of popularity looms large.

Scott, who must leave office due to term limits, is considering a bid against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and, unlike many Republicans, has gone out of his way to embrace Trump and stand by the president. Diaz, however, was more nervous about his association with Trump and deleted a picture he posted on Twitter of Trump and him on Inauguration Day.

"Just ran into the first guy who ever fired me," Diaz said in the now-deleted tweet. "The next president of the United States @realDonaldTrump #Apprentice #POTUS #ElPresidente."

For Democrats, the SD 40 victory was filled with challenges, mainly keeping voters engaged in a campaign that got overshadowed by the massive Hurricane Irma that slammed into the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, a little more than two weeks before the election.

Heading into Election Day, Democrats were nervous. After all, Republicans were winning the number of pre-Election Day ballots cast when compared to Democrats who voted by mail or at in-person early voting sites. And a last-minute request by Democrats to extend poll hours on Tuesda got rejected by Scott.

But internal party polling and Election Day vote tallies offered Democrats encouraging news because they show ed that Taddeo had handily won the coveted No Party Affiliation voters by a strong margin.

To do that, the Florida Democratic Party and affiliated progressive groups and unions say they worked together to knock on what they said were 50,000 doors of voters in the last four days of the election.

Democrats executed a similar strategy last month at the other end of the state in the St. Petersburg mayoral race, where Republican Rick Baker has been vexed by Trump. After a last-minute endorsement by former President Barack Obama, Mayor Rick Kriseman outperformed the polls and took the contest to a run-off that will be decided in November.

"This is a referendum, first with Kriseman coming from down in the polls to a first-place finish. And now Annette Taddeo winning Election Day by 19 points and winning NPAs in every segment of the vote, according to the initial numbers," said Juan Peñalosa, a strategist for the Florida Democratic Party. "Democrats and progressives came together to win this election, we are unified, and we have the momentum going into 2018."

It also represents something Florida Democrats have not seen in a long time: a victory over the Tallahassee special interest machine.
Now let's turn to New Hampshire, which was far more of a shock than the win in the swingy 40th in Miami. Here Democrats were looking at the 4th reddest state House district in New Hampshire, a Rockingham County-- Auburn, Chester and Sandown-- district where Republicans hold a massive 2 to 1 registration edge over Democrats. In the end Democrat Kari Lerner took 901 votes (50.6%) to 862 votes (48.4%) for Republican former state Rep. James Headd. Clinton won New Hampshire but this particular House district was Trump country last November; he won it with a massive 23% margin. (Rockingham County was Bernie territory during the primary. He didn't just beat Hillary 31,080 to 22,829, he also outpolled Trump, who pulled 28,716 votes.)
It was the third time since May that Democrats flipped a House seat in a special election. Edith DesMarais won in heavily Republican Wolfeboro on May 23. Charlie St. Clair won in Laconia-Belmont on Sept. 12.

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff said: "Rep.-elect Lerner deserves enormous credit and congratulations for this great victory tonight. Our Democratic family is growing bigger by the week, and Kari Lerner is another great addition. I know she'll work hard and stand up for Democratic values at the State House on behalf of the people of Auburn, Chester and Sandown."

Also, on July 25, Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh defeated Republican former state Sen. David Boutin in a special state Senate election in heavily Republican District 16.

...“There's something happening in this state and all across this country when the deepest red districts in New Hampshire are consistently turning royal blue,” state Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said. “This, our hardest-won victory so far, is the latest proof that voters are showing up when it matters to reject the dangerous and divisive agenda of Donald Trump and Chris Sununu.”

...According to the latest checklist figures provided by the secretary of state’s office, Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 2,600 voters in the district. Undeclared voters make up 42.6 percent of the district, while 39.7 percent of the voters in the district are Republicans and 19.3 percent are Democrats.
No one predicts that even as huge a tsunami against Trump and Ryan as what we saw in New Hampshire Tuesday night will bring the kind of national swing that will decimate the House GOP. But even half that would see the Democrats back in control and the end of arch villains like Paul Ryan (WI), Darrell Issa (CA), Ted Yolo (FL), Fred Upton (MI), Ed Royce (CA), Barbara Comstock (VA), Mark Sanford (SC), Glenn Grothman (WI), Virginia Foxx (NC), Kevin McCarthy (CA), Peter King (NY), Ron DeSantis (FL), Steve Russell (OK), Ted Poe (TX), Pete Sessions (TX), Joe Barton (TX), Lamar Smith (TX), John Culberson (TX), Pete Olson (TX), Mike McCaul (TX)... virtually all the seats DeLay stole he his infamous mid-decade gerrymander.

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At 6:25 AM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Of course, Gallup also shows that white millennials think Dems are just about as bad at governance as Dems with support for third parties growing:

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

The Dems are now 8-0 in special elections the Anti-Trump effect continues one race at a time step by step congratulations NH & FL.

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for Taddeo, but Yikes: $6.5M on a State Senate race???

- elkern

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You seem to have forgotten the four special elections loudly touted here on this site which the Democrats lost. Thus the total is more like 8-4, which isn't that bad, but shouldn't be shouted out as proof that Trump and his loser minions are done trashing the nation. The Democrats have done nothing as a Party to counter the destruction of the MAGA morons, a process which they have only just begun. Wait until their heavy hitter Gorsuch has a chance to swing his club.


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