Thursday, May 31, 2018

Want To Start Fighting About The 2020 Nomination?


I'm sure Bernie will role out his 2020 presidential campaign carefully and on his own time table. In 2015 Blue America was the first independent PAC raising money for his 2016 campaign and this year we are the first independent PAC raising contributions for the 2020 campaign. You can contribute here. Disclaimer: No one from Blue America has talked with him about 2020. One of his top advisors did tell us to move forward-- though perhaps not as top as Jeff Weaver, who was on C-SPAN Tuesday morning talking about the "possibility" of a Bernie run. He didn't mention a Bernie-Elizabeth Warren ticket... which is what I've been told is pretty much set.
"He is considering another run for the presidency and when the time comes I think we'll have an answer for that. But right now he's still considering it."

That's both a) not terribly surprising and b) extremely important.

Not surprising in that Sanders has never really stopped running a national campaign since his primary loss to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Extremely important in that Sanders is-- and is likely to remain-- the prime mover in the Democratic presidential field.

That's not to say Sanders is the current frontrunner for the nomination. He's not. Former Vice President Joe Biden is-- as CNN's Harry Enten argues convincingly.

  What Sanders' status as the prime mover in the race means is that he will set the terms on which the race is likely to be fought. He will set the margins-- in terms of policy-- for what Democrats are willing to say and do. He will be the person who the race revolves around-- either in agreement with or reaction to.

It's already been happening. Earlier this month in a speech at the Brookings Institute, Biden used Sanders as a foil-- promising an alternate vision for both the problem and the solution to what ails the country. Here's the key bit from Biden: "I love Bernie, but I'm not Bernie Sanders. I don't think 500 billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys. But this gap is yawning, and it's having the effect of pulling us apart. You see the politics of it."

And, following the 2016 election, a parade of would-be 2020 aspirants-- Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand--  signed onto Sanders' "Medicare For All" single-payer health care proposal. It's a role he played in 2016, albeit a somewhat unlikely one. Clinton, once she realized that Sanders posed a real threat to her chances, moved hard left on virtually every issue-- ensuring there was no space between her and the Vermont senator.

Rest assured that it won't be easy as pie for Bernie to win. If not Biden, there will be another conservative status quo Democrat pretending to be "progressive" while working for the special interests-- Cuomo, Gillibrand... perhaps something worse. Multimillionaire John Delaney is already in the race. You know who Delaney is? This is the kind of Democrat who will fight hard to keep Bernie away from the nomination. Is their any difference between Biden and Delaney? Not on policy; not on political values. Before Delaney decided to leave Congress so he could run full-time for Congress, one of his colleagues told me he is the "poster child for what's wrong with the Democratic Party. Recruiting clueless, rich people who have no real values is almost always a failure."

Meanwhile, Bernie and Elizabeth Warren continue doing what they do: talking about policy with the American people. Biden and the rest of the establishment Democrats who want to be president keep endorsing crappy Democratic House candidates all over the map on policy-- anti-healthcare conservatives, for example, while Bernie is fighting for candidates like Randy Bryce (WI) and Chuy Garcia (IL), progressives who he knows, when they get to Congress, will continue fighting for working families, not for Wall Street banksters, the way Joe Biden always has. Biden, for example just endorsed Darren Soto, lump on a log do-nothing Orlando seat warmer and longtime anti-Choice legislator and NRA ally who is in a contest against Alan Grayson. That's how Biden rolls. Is he as bad as Hillary? Worse.

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Is Trumpanzee Making His Nobel Prize A Pre-Condition?


Ivanka and Jared will run Pyongyang's fanciest restaurant

I recall that right after Trump fake-cancelled his meeting with Kim Jong-Un. he blubbered something about his willingness to reinstate the meeting but "only under our conditions." First and foremost of those conditions-- aside from Trump getting to share the Nobel Peace Prize with Kim and Moon-- is that North Korea denuclearize. But that's not really on anyone's table put the one in front of Trump's highchair in the White House nursery.

The real question is whether or not a member of the Trump family will be granted the concession to run North Korea's first MacDonalds or Burger King franchise. Courtney Kube reporting for NBC News wrote that there's no actual denuclearization going on except in the drugged up Trumpanzee cranium. I asked a friend of mine from Oslo, who lives in Amsterdam now, if a burger chain will still get Trump a Nobel and he said he'll speak with his friends back in Norway and get back to me.

"A new U.S. intelligence assessment," Kube wrote, "has concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon." This finding "conflicts with recent statements by the fake crackpot occupant of the White House.
Trump is continuing to pursue a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even though the CIA analysis, which is consistent with other expert opinion, casts doubt on the viability of Trump's stated goal for the negotiations, the elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons stockpile.

"Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearize," said one intelligence official who read the report, which was circulated earlier this month, days before Trump canceled the originally scheduled summit.

In an odd twist, a list of potential concessions by North Korea in the CIA analysis included the possibility that Kim Jong Un may consider offering to open a Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a show of goodwill, according to three national security officials.

It suggests Kim is interested in a peaceful gesture to an American president whose love of fast-food burgers is well known-- and who, during the 2016 campaign, had said he wanted to talk nukes over a burger with the North Korean leader.

On the nuclear question, the analysis suggests that a more realistic immediate objective would be convincing Kim to walk back recent progress on the country's nuclear weapons program, the officials said.

But it's not clear that would pass muster with Trump-- or America's allies.

"If the North Koreans don't agree in a joint statement that lays out denuclearization-- that is, getting rid of their nuclear weapons, having them put under control by international elements-- then I don't think we are going to go very far," Chris Hill, a former ambassador to South Korea, said Tuesday on MSNBC.

...The CIA report came as a top nuclear expert argued in a new paper that the nuclear disarmament process in North Korea could take as a long as 15 years. Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford professor who once directed the federal government's Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico-- and who has toured North Korean nuclear facilities four times-- argued that the sprawling nature of the North Korean program means it will take a long time to dismantle. His analysis was first reported in the New York Times.

The CIA report, described by three officials to NBC News, lays out a series of incentives the U.S. and South Korea could offer North Korea to disarm, including infrastructure and agricultural aid.

The report, like nearly all intelligence products on North Korea, offered analysis at low or medium confidence-- language intelligence agencies use to signal that analysts lack hard information to buttress their conclusions.

One of the world's most reclusive countries, North Korea is a notoriously difficult intelligence target. Human sources and communications intercepts are hard to come by.

"This is essentially some very smart analysts offering their very best guesses," one intelligence official said.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump said he would like to meet with the North Korean leader in a low-key setting that entailed "eating a hamburger on a conference table."

The CIA report does not specify which fast-food brand could be invited to North Korea, but said Kim envisioned that the establishment could be used to provide food during the talks and would show that he was open to Western investment.

In advance of major diplomatic negotiations, it's not uncommon for intelligence agencies and the State Department to provide assessments about the opposing side's red lines. The idea is to prepare American participants for all possible eventualities, and to provide options to influence the adversary's behavior.

The new CIA report, according to three national security officials, assessed that Kim may also offer other limited American investment in North Korea, particularly in infrastructure.

The U.S. and South Korea would likely focus on food delivery-- possibly through the United Nations-- and other agricultural development, the report said. The South Koreans would likely take the lead in delivering this aid.

The U.S. also could offer economic incentives, including sanctions relief.

The report says North Korean officials have not demanded in preliminary talks that the U.S. remove all its troops from South Korea, and they are not expected to do so in any initial summit.

The report says that South Korean President Moon Jae-in believes he enjoys a strong rapport with Kim, and that South Korea is considering a formal declaration to end the war between the two countries.

The CIA and the White House declined to comment.

One former senior official who has been briefed on the U.S. approach to North Korea acknowledged that U.S. intelligence agencies do not believe Kim would ever get rid of all his nuclear weapons.

"I've always wondered: How does the administration square that circle?" the former official said.

The big question going into any negotiation, the official said, was how the White House would deal with North Korea's unwillingness to denuclearize while maintaining Trump's public line requiring such a move.

rump seemed to acknowledge that dilemma in remarks last week where he said North Korea may not have to immediately denuclearize and that its nuclear program could be phased out over a period of time.

The U.S. also has decided to drop any human rights demands as part of the talks, according to a current and a former official-- a deeply significant move when dealing with a country that the U.S. believes holds between 80,000 and 120,000 prisoners in squalid camps. The former official said the U.S. approach to North Korea was broken down into phases, each of which would bring corresponding gestures of aid and sanctions relief.

First, the Trump administration wants North Korea to declare all details of its nuclear program, dispose of fissile material and close some sites.

The U.S. would then press for international inspections and a gradual elimination of nuclear weapons.

The American side would like to all but eliminate fissile material in North Korea.

An open question, said the former official, is how and whether to press Kim to account for and relinquish his chemical and biological weapons. After Trump criticized the Iran nuclear deal for failing to account for Iran's missile program, it would be hard for him to reach a nuclear deal with North Korea that ignores other weapons of mass destruction.

On May 28, the White House said in a statement that Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had spoken and "affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs."

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Why Doesn't God Give Him A Donkey With Wings?


Holy Moley! Blue America is working with some great evangelical pastors and laymen who are sick and tired of Trump debasing our country with his profane behavior. And they want to do something about it. We'll be rolling that out soon. Meanwhile there's another type of evangelical a 40 year old hustler out of Louisiana every bit as profane as Trump. Ever hear of Jesse Duplantis, the televangelist preaching some kind of "prosperity gospel" and getting rich in the process? No, neither had I. He's trying to sucker his followers into contributing the moolah he needs to buy himself his own private jet ($54 million), who had already bought 3 other private planes but who claims God told him "I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X." I'm not joking. You wonder how someone could be so naive as to vote for Trump? Meet Jesse Duplantis' congregants.
Duplantis is hoping to take the word of Jesus to new heights -- with help from a $54 million private jet, CBS News' Tony Dokoupil reports.

Duplantis runs a ministry and a church in Destrehan, Louisiana, outside New Orleans. In a video posted to his website last week, he asked his followers for help funding the aircraft, noting that God told him he should have a jet-- but not pay for it.

Duplantis says the three-engine plane would allow the ministry to fly "anywhere in the world in one stop," reducing fuel costs while maintaining a global reach.

"I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey," Duplantis said in the video. "He'd be in an airplane flying all over the world."

Duplantis not the first minister to preach the gospel of private flight.

In 2015, Creflo Dollar asked followers for a $64 million Gulfstream G650, after a public outcry, his ministry settled for a used model. In January another televangelist, Kenneth Copeland, announced the blessing of a Gulfstream V. Both he and Duplantis defended their jets in 2015.

"The prosperity of gospel which many of these ministers are preaching is simply not the gospel of Jesus Christ-- it is false gospel," said Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, a prominent Christian community. The gospel of prosperity is a biblical heresy and needs to be named as that.

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Trump Was High Of Adderall, Suffering From Amphetamine Psychosis, When He Made Up "Spy-Gate"


The idea of of South Carolina pinhead is being used as the arbiter of FBI fairness is pretty scary, but with Trey Gowdy, still chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, getting ready for his last few months in Congress, it appears he's been gradually shedding his extreme partisan coat. After the Nunes' circus at the Justice Department over Trump's manufactured ridiculous Spy-Gate "scandal," Gowdy left the briefing to declare that the FBI acted properly by deploying an informant to gather information from the Kremlin operatives-- Carter Page and George Papadopoulos-- inside Señor Trumpanzee’s campaign.

He went on Fox and said exactly what Trump wouldn't want him to say, not that it will influence any of the low-IQ Trump-bots who still support him: "I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got." Gowdy reminded the Fox audience that "It looks to me like the FBI was doing what President Trump said: 'I want you to do, find it out.'" In the now infamous Comey memo Trump has tried a little gaslighting: "If anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it," causing Gowdy to say, "Sounds to me like that was exactly what the FBI did."

Very different from Trump's bleating at his Nashville rally about Democrats in the FBI infiltrating his campaign, part of his effort to undercut law enforcement in the eyes of the morons who still haven't figured out what Trump is.

Even crackpot wing nut Andrew Napolitano, Trump-promoted Fox New "expert" said late Tuesday there is “no evidence” to support Señor Trumpanzee’s “Spygate” malarkey that the FBI planted spies during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Napolitano, the news network's senior judicial analyst, said on "The Story With Martha MacCallum" that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is making a “baseless” claim.

“The allegations by Mayor Giuliani over the weekend, which would lead to us believe that the Trump people think that the FBI had an undercover agent who inveigled his way into the campaign and was there as a spy on the campaign, seem to be baseless,” Napolitano said.

There is no evidence for that whatsoever, he added.

Giuliani suggested on Sunday that former President Obama and his top intelligence officials “knew” that the FBI had used a top-secret informant to allegedly spy on Trump’s campaign.

The FBI did use an informant, identified in media reports as American professor Stefan Halper, who met with three Trump campaign advisers in 2016-- George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis.

No evidence has emerged, however, that the informant was used to spy on the campaign for political purposes.

Napolitano said Tuesday that the use of an informant is “standard operating procedure” in intelligence gathering and during criminal investigations.
The only one buying Trump's Spy-Gate tactic is, of course, Nunes, who has taken up residence up Trump's ass, something that the intelligence community should be looking into.

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The Most Important Congressional Primary Of 2018-- Throw The Bum Out


We've been writing about Alexandria Ocasio, who we endorsed, for some time now and, for far longer, about her opponent Joe Crowley. As you can see from the video above, Alexandria is guaranteed to be a shake 'em up member when she makes it to Congress. Crowley, on the other hand, is exactly what need has needed to be shaken up. Time's up.

Pelosi and Hoyer have groomed him and anointed him as their successor to lead the House Democrats. I can't think of a way to destroy the Democratic Party sooner than for Crowley to lead it. Nor can I think of a more corrupt Democrat in Congress. 

Did you think Chicago Blue Dog Dan Lipinski was bad? No one pays him much attention and there isn't much he can do more than vote badly. Crowley is far worse, since he aspires to lead the Democratic Party. For those who like to say there is no difference between the two parties... they'll be a lot closer to correct if Crowley wins the speakership. But right now, Crowley may not even win his own own Queens-Bronx House seat in the June 26 primary. How is that possible? After all, as of the March 31 FEC reporting deadline, Crowley had raised $2,777,489 and Alexandria just $115,653.

Goal ThermometerOK, here's how: he and his family live in Virginia and he has virtually nothing to do with the district, a district that has changed drastically since it was first given to him in 1998. Less that 20% of the people are white and very few of them have ever even heard of him or know he's their congressman. As Alexandria says, "It's time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn't live here, doesn't send his kids to our schools, doesn't drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us. What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform. We can do it now."

And replacing the ones who have prevented this kind progress for years-- whether that's Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell or Joe Crowley and Steny Hoyer-- is the only way to accomplish that. Please consider chipping in to Alexandria's campaign by clicking on the Blue America thermometer above and by sharing that video up top with everyone you know, especially the folks in NY-14, which includes City Island, Baychester, Pelham, Morris Park, Parkchester, Middletown, Throggs Neck and Spencer Estates in the Bronx and Malba, College Point, Corona, Steinway, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and East Elmhurst in Queens. This is a blue, blue district and there's no chance of forfeiting it to the GOP by kicking out Crowley. The PVI is D+29 and Hillary beat Trump in the district 77.7% to 19.8%. (In 2012, Obama won with over 80%.)

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

As if we needed any further proof as to the evil nature of the Trump family and their associates, along comes Miss 2018 Flo-Thru Cranium contestant, 1st daughter, Ivanka Trumpanzee, with an in-your-face Sunday morning tweet of herself and her child. Imagine how much of a lowlife you have to be to do this as the news is full of babies, toddlers, and other children being literally ripped from their mother's arms across the country. Not only that, the apple of her father's eye or whatever does it just a few days after it came to the public's attention that the whereabouts of 1,500 immigrant children are completely unknown to those who stole them, and that babies ripped from their mother's arms would be as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said placed "in foster care or whatever." What's the "whatever," Kelly? What's the "whatever?" This isn't tone deaf. No one is this tone deaf. This is care-free psychopathic mocking, Republican style. What if this happened to you, Ivanka?

Throw some water on her and see if she melts.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Leakiest Ship Ever-- And Mikey Suits Probably Will Have Trouble Sleeping Tonight


Is Señor Trumpanzee going to install a boxing ring in front of his desk in the Oval Office. Like he's always said, his style of management includes having his employees fight with each other. Collegiality is not a trait is encourages. Back-stabbing is. He's a sick cookie... always has been. But what would you expect from someone whose father was a KKK thug and whose grandfather ran a whorehouse? Sunday afternoon, Axios' Jonathan Swan posted a really hilarious Age of Trump leak: Stunning Oval Office leak: Aides fight in front of Trump-- about leaks.
Shortly after word leaked that Kelly Sadler had taken a nasty shot at John McCain, President Trump convened a meeting in the Oval Office for a tiny group of communications staffers, according to sources familiar with the gathering. Sadler, Mercedes Schlapp, Raj Shah, and John Kelly all gathered in front of the Resolute Desk for a conversation with Trump about the leaking problem. They were the only people in the room, though the door to the outer Oval was open.

The president told Sadler she wouldn’t be fired for her remark. He added, separately in the conversation, that he’s no fan of McCain. Then Trump, who had grown obsessed with the leaking problem, told Sadler he wanted to know who the leakers were. Sadler then stunned the room: To be completely honest, she said, she thought one of the worst leakers was Schlapp, her boss.
Schlapp fought back like a mad dog and Sadler ratted out several other White House staffers for leaking as well. Eventually someone leaked the whole mess to Axios, the best place to go with White House gossip that will instantly be read by everyone in DC. Several people with enough connections to be listened to seriously have told me that Trump himself is getting all this crap leaked. Does that illustration above look more like a White House leaking or more like a White House crying?

You can't count this as a leak, per se, but a crazy pair of Trump tweets this evening seems to have sunk felon Mikey Suits' campaign to reclaim his old congressional seat in Staten Island and south Brooklyn (NY-11). There's plenty of speculation that either Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy or Rudy Giuliani talked Trump into endorsing Dan Donovan over Grimm.

Grimm tweeted back: "All the endorsements in the world can’t change the facts: Donovan has failed to pass even one substantive bill into law, and has voted against President Trump every time it’s mattered-- from failing to repeal Obamacare, to banning sanctuary cities, and even against tax cuts," the tax cuts that Donovan voted against despite the moron-in-chief claiming otherwise ... in his Adderall-fueled tweet.

Dan Donovan tweeted too:

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Gavin Newsom Will Probably Win But Here's Why I'm Voting For Antonio Villaraigosa



9 or 10 years ago, Gavin Newsom, Mayor or ex-Mayor of San Francisco, invited a gaggle of Los Angeles political bloggers to meet him in a rented conference room of a fancy West Hollywood hotel. I had the impression everyone was impressed besides me-- and even I was a little impressed. He was really smart and was able to speak way more intelligently than most politicians can on every single subject every blogger threw at him. If smarts alone was the only criterion to back a candidate, I might have gotten behind him instead of Jerry Brown. But it isn't... and I didn't. He had two traits that disqualified him. He's a corporate Democrat (which is enough of a disqualifier no matter how many LGBTQ couples whose marriages he presided over as mayor... of the gayest city in the world) and he can't be trusted and should find another line of work. Can't be trusted? He screwed his best friend's wife-- had an affair with her and though Gavin has a new wife now, his best friend and his wife broke up. I can't see trusting someone who does that.

And that his character defect is still around was just borne out again in his campaign. Yesterday, in a post Dorothy Reik wrote she helped break the news that Newsom was trying to help make sure the #2 slot in the jungle primary was filled by a Republican because he knows it will be much easier to beat a Republican in November. Why is that a big deal? If there are no Republicans on the top of the ticket running for governor (and for the Senate), it will discourage some Republicans from bothering to vote-- which could be a boon to Democrats running for the House and for the state legislature. But Newsom only thinks about Newsom, not for the greater good.

Ron Brownstein understands the dynamic and he dealt with it yesterday in a report for CNN, One of Trump's top California critics could help him hold the House. First off, I don't know what makes Newsom one of Trump's top critics in a state that includes Ted Lieu, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, Kevin de León, Eric Swalwell, Barbara Lee and even Nancy Pelosi. But Brownstein claims that "few Democrats anywhere present themselves as more inveterate opponents of Señor Trumpanzee. Gee, I never noticed.
And yet few Democrats anywhere are facing more pointed accusations than Newsom of pursuing a strategy that could help Trump achieve his highest political goal in 2018: maintaining Republican control of the US House.

The charge against Newsom, which his camp forcefully rejects, underscores how profoundly the dynamics of California's unusual top-two primary system distort the typical calculations for candidates and the two major parties.

...Newsom ran an ad earlier this month effectively bolstering the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox. By promoting Cox, Newsom reduced the odds that he would face another Democrat in November and increased his own chances of victory. But he faced complaints that he was threatening Democratic hopes of recapturing the US House because a Republican in the governor's race would give California GOP voters more reason to turn out this fall and thus benefit their candidates for the House.

...Though the state has run three previous elections under the top-two rule, this is the first contest that is fully pressure-testing the system. In 2014, the one previous governor's race conducted under these rules, incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown cruised to re-election. And in the past three elections, Democrats inexplicably [has Brownstein never put the words DCCC and incompetence together in his mind?] failed to mount serious bids against House Republicans in several districts that were trending away from the GOP.

...Most attention has focused on the Democratic dilemma in Orange County. The Democrats began this year with high hopes in the four seats that Clinton carried across that steadily-diversifying county. But they now face the real risk that Republicans will claim both of the top spots and shut out Democrats for November in three of them. In descending order of threat, Democrats are confronting that possibility in the seat held by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and the districts being vacated by retiring Republicans Ed Royce and Darrell Issa. (Because there are no meaningful Republican challengers to GOP incumbents Mimi Walters in Orange County and Steve Knight north of Los Angeles, Democrats don't face that risk in those Clinton-won seats.)

In all three of the seats where Democrats face a potential shutout, Republicans have candidates with much stronger resumes in elected office, from former state Assembly member Young Kim and Orange County Board of Supervisors member Shawn Nelson in Royce's seat; to former State Assembly GOP Leader Scott Baugh, who is challenging Rohrabacher; to former Assembly member Diane Harkey and current member Rocky Chavez in the Issa seat. None of the leading Democrats contending for any of the seats hold elected office, or began the race with much name identification in their districts-- a remnant of the party's long-time failure to invest in building its support in Orange County. That's made it tougher for any one candidate to consolidate support.

This local failure has forced the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee into extraordinary exertions to avoid losing these seats to the GOP in June. The party committee has invested heavily in voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts to combat the traditionally low turnout of several key Democratic constituencies during the June primaries. It has successfully leaned on several lower-tier Democratic candidates to drop out, hoping to consolidate the Democratic vote.

Most dramatically, it has invested $3.5 million into an array of television and radio ads meant to lift a Democrat into the top two. That's included negative ads trying to weaken Republican candidates in each race (principally Baugh, Nelson and Chavez). More controversially, the DCCC has also tried to lift one Democrat from the field by running ads for Gil Cisneros, a lottery winner and philanthropist in the Royce seat, and Harley Rouda, an attorney and entrepreneur in the Rohrabacher district.

And yet even after all this work, Democrats are still biting their nails. The Democrats are especially on edge about the Rohrabacher seat, where the incumbent's weakness is leaving a large number of GOP-leaning votes available to Baugh.

"These are all within the margin of error, and that's what is so scary," said Democratic consultant Dave Jacobson, who is advising candidates in the Royce and Rohrabacher seats.

The maneuvering in the governor's race is adding to Democratic anxiety and uncertainty. It has raised the possibility that even if Democrats survive next week's challenge and place a candidate onto the general election ballot, the Republican odds of holding the Orange County anyway seats may be rising.

Newsom triggered the controversy earlier this month when he ran his ad criticizing Cox, an underfunded San Diego business executive who lost several races for office while living in Illinois, for being too close to Trump and too opposed to gun control.

That's the sort of message viewers might expect from Newsom, a liberal Democrat, in the general election. But airing during the primary, the ad, in effect, came with a big wink: by attacking Cox from the left, Newsom was actually bolstering his credentials with Republican voters and increasing the chances that Cox would finish second next week ahead of any Democrat in the race. Newsom reinforced the message last week when he launched separate attack ads targeting Democrats Antonio Villaraigosa, the former Los Angeles mayor, and state Treasurer John Chiang.

Villaraigosa and Cox are the two candidates with a realistic chance of finishing second to Newsom, who leads comfortably in all polls. And even some Villaraigosa supporters privately now give him little chance of overcoming Cox, who was also boosted among Republicans by an endorsement from Trump. (In recent polls, Cox has pulled away from a second Republican, Travis Allen, who has run to his right.)

With Republicans dwindling to about a quarter of the state's registered voters, Newsom would begin the general election as a prohibitive favorite against Cox.

But Newsom has frustrated Democrats who believe the party would be more likely to beat the vulnerable GOP House members if Republicans are shut out of the governor's race. That, the critics argue, would depress GOP turnout, partly because Republicans are already virtually certain to be excluded from the US Senate race, which will likely feature incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein against State Senate leader Kevin de Leon. Delaine Eastin, a liberal former state superintendent of instruction also seeking the gubernatorial nomination as a Democrat, surfaced this grumbling last week, when she tweeted: "It is clear that for all of @GavinNewsom's claims to oppose @realDonaldTrump-- he has put himself ahead of @TheDemocrats fight to take back Congress and win other down ballot races."

Many Republicans actually take the same view. John Thomas, a Republican consultant, says the impact on Republican turnout could be catastrophic for GOP House candidates if the party is excluded from both the governor and US Senate races. "Our models it would probably change turnout by three points and that might just be it," says Thomas, who is working with Republican candidates in Orange County. "Barring a black swan event in some of those Congressional seats, with a Democrat imploding, a three-point shift [in turnout], is probably untenable."

Newsom has said openly he'd prefer to oppose a Republican this fall. But his advisers forcefully rebut the notion that he's advancing his own interests over the party's.
I guess Newsom hasn't screwed their wives... yet. Besides, if something horrible comes out about Gavin between the primary and the general, Democratic voters might move to another Democrat in the general if they had that opportunity, but still wouldn't move to a Republican. And no one knows how much filth about Newsom is out there ready to be exposed more than Gavin Newsom does.

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Democratic Candidates Are Advocating A Progressive Agenda And Are Happy To Make The Election A Referendum On Trump


GOP candidates rallying behind Trump read an ABC News headline yesterday. Some are, of course... and some aren't. The line that interested me most, though, was "Republicans appear far more comfortable touting Trump’s leadership than Democrats do arguing against it." Again, some are and some aren't-- on both ends of that statement. More than a few Republicans are leaving Congress altogether rather than even attempt defending Trump, a compulsive liar-- on any level. As for Democrats not feeling comfortable arguing against Trump's leadership... what sort of Democrats are we talking about? I asked some of the savviest Democrats I know about their posture towards Trump.

Alan Grayson is running on his record when he was in Congress, as he works to take back his Orlando area House seat, held my a centrist Democrat with no record at all. Grayson was able to pass more legislation than any other member of Congress and he hopes to continue doing that when he's back in Congress... that and impeaching Trump. "Republicans," he told me, "started campaigning against Obama from the day that he was elected, with no basis whatsoever. As I said once on the Floor of the House, if Obama had a BLT sandwich, the Republicans would try to ban bacon. More recently, however, mysterious forces pushed the most unpopular presidential candidate in the history of polling across the finish line, with 54% of Americans voting against him even before we saw how miserable he is as President. Yet somehow, certain Democrats think that we should lay off him. Those are the Democrats who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

 Jamie Raskin (D-MD) has the highest ProgressivePunch score in Congress-- yes, he's #1, he's #1-- and he's the organizer of Democracy Summer, a program educating high school and college students on the dynamics of political change and deploying them to swing districts. "Our people," he told me today, "are sick of Donald Trump and the depraved corruption of this administration. From Virginia to New Jersey to Alabama to western Pennsylvania to Colorado, we’re winning elections across America because we’re focused on restoring government to the people. But there’s no popular demand for wallowing in Trump’s crimes against the common good. Our people want hope for progressive renewal and strategies for practical change to take America back from the abyss."

Saira Rao is running for the Denver seat occupied by middle of the road Democrat Diana DeGette. They have very different approaches. DeGette is basically a centrist looking out for her own career. Rao wants to make Denver-- and the country-- better. "Why," she asked, "isn't white supremacy an impeachable offense? We have a President who calls Nazis and members of the KKK 'very fine people,' countries with people of color 'shitholes' and undocumented immigrants 'animals.' Hitler used that word to describe Jewish people.  Democrats in Congress continue to tweet about Trump but when it came down to it, they voted to table the vote on impeachment. If more brown and black people were in Congress, we'd move to impeach him. White supremacy is life and death for us." It doesn't sound to me that with Jamie or Saira is having a tough time questioning Trump's leadership.

Goal ThermometerBefore Levi Tillemann (CO-06) takes on Trump-adverse Republican, Mike Coffman, he has to beat a corrupt right-wing Democrat. Levi is sticking to running on his own progressive agenda. He told us today that as he's "spoken to thousands of voters around Colorado, it's clear that people want accountability in Washington, and that means impeaching Trump. He is unfit to be president and voters know it. Voters know that I'm fighting for universal healthcare, getting corporate influence out of politics, and protecting kids from guns, and along with that, they know that I'm fighting to impeach Trump."

Yes, people can walk and chew gum at the same time. Paul Clements (MI-06) is working to get through a gaggle of conservative Democrats before facing Trump rubber stamp Fred Upton, like Tillemann, he's fighting for progressive issues and holding Trump accountable: "Trump," he told me without flinching, "is the greatest threat to American democracy in my lifetime. He seems to think the separation of powers does not apply to him, that our judges and law enforcement officials should promote his political and personal agendas. His racism, lies, disrespect, and encouragement of violence undermine the civic friendship that democracy depends on. His economic policies continue our slide into oligarchy. His foreign policy supports authoritarians. His environmental policies threaten our common future. In world-historical terms this is a moment when we face an urgent call for real democratic leadership.

Of course, right wing extremists who are counting on the GOP base to turn out and not thinking about independent voters to get them over the finish line are adhering to Trump in a big way. But more Republicans are worried about Trump's toxicity with independents. If you're some crackpot in a crackpot district like Matt Gaetz (FL), Paul Gosar (AZ), Hal Rogers (KY), Doug Collins (GA), Phil Roe (TN), Liz Cheney (WY), Michael Conaway (TX) or Rob Aderholt (AZ) you can be reelected without one independent voter-- and without one person with a 3-digit IQ.
Trump's visit Tuesday to Nashville highlights the unmistakable trend: There is virtually no room between Trump and the Senate candidates hoping to maintain his Republican majority this year. And Republicans appear far more comfortable touting Trump’s leadership than Democrats do arguing against it.

Trump claimed that his sway drove Sen. Bob Corker from running for another term in Tennessee, and kept him out when he flirted with returning after all.

In his place is Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who faces only nominal opposition in August’s GOP primary. She is set to join nominees who have already emerged out of states including Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, by winning fights that centered on who the most staunch Trump loyalist would be.

It’s also telling that while Trump is primed to attack the likely Democratic candidate in Tennessee, Phil Bredesen, Bredesen is already on TV promising to "separate the message from the messenger."

"Look, I’m not running against Donald Trump," Bredesen said in a recent campaign ad.

Interesting race there in Tennessee. Bredesen has always run Republican-lite campaigns and his ability to be elected and re-elected governor of the deep red state has a lot to do with his innate conservatism and his ability to appeal to independents and moderate Republicans. He's consistently been running ahead of Blackburn in all polls because voters see her as an extremist and him as more mainstream. Progressives who vote for him will be voting against Trump in a referendum and for Bredesen as the lesser of two evils.

Katie Porter (CA-45), on the other hand, is running hard for an Orange County seat occupied by a total Trump rubber stamp, Mimi Walters. This morning she told us that she's "running to stand up to Trump's reckless and hateful agenda. Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have endorsed our campaign because they know that in Congress, I will hold Donald Trump and powerful special interests accountable, fight for Medicare for All, for common sense gun reform, and always protect a woman’s right to choose."

Sam Jammal (CA-39) works his disdain for Trump into the reasons that impelled him to run. "We are," he told me, "running a campaign focused on our values and the middle class-- two things Trump stands against. The 39th district is a diverse community that is welcoming. This is why the Fullerton City Council rejected attempts to join the sanctuary city lawsuit. We also have a lot of families who are working hard to get by. Trump's tax reform bill is an attack on these families. 80% of our homeowners will be hit by the lower mortgage interest deductions. Thousands of individuals have pre-existing conditions and are at risk of Trump taking away their health care. And the new $1.5 trillion deficit we now face thanks to Trump's tax reform means our schools have less money for educating our students and making sure our schools are safe places to learn. There is no neutrality in Trump's direct attacks on California families. We have to stand up and push back against not only his division, but the very real attacks on our economy."

Let's close this out with a few words-- and some excellent advise for candidates-- from the West Coast Regional Vice Chair of the DCCC, Congressman Ted Lieu. "Congressional Republicans," he told us, "are stuck between a Trump and a hard place. As they prepare to go before voters later this year, many Republicans find themselves in the unenviable position of having to defend the constant barrage of insanity that comes from the White House. Some will lean into Trump in the hopes that his popularity with a certain segment of the Republican base will save them (though there aren't really any great examples of his popularity transferring to other candidates). Others will try to walk the tightrope of finding common ground when possible and creating distance when Trump goes off the rails, and some will reject him altogether. None of those are great options when you are running a tough reelection campaign. In a world where many prominent conservatives (Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney, George Will, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Charlie Dent to name a few) have been critical of the President, all Democrats should feel free to point out the harm Trump has caused and will continue to cause to our great nation. In addition, the first rule of elections is you have to energize your base. If you don't do that, it becomes very difficult to win."

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Colluding With The Republicans To Help Wall Street Will Hurt Right Of Center Senate Democrats, Not Help Them


One strategy for conservative Democratic senators in Trump states to win reelection is to show voters back home how bipartisan they are. I wonder if touting the Wall-street friendly dismantling of Dodd-Frank is a good idea for Democrats. Republicans aren't going to vote for them; they have their own candidates. Perhaps some independents will. But how many Democrats will be discouraged by those tactics to not turn out in November? We'll find out in North Dakota, Indiana and Montana, where 3 endangered Democratic senators are running away from core Democratic values and embracing mainstream conservatism. Last Thursday Trump signed a bill Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester had attached their name to as co-authors (though it was actually written by bank lobbyists).

Tester: "One-size-fits-all rules from Washington have been strangling Montana’s Main Street economy and threatening our rural way of life. When the extremes on both sides of the aisle tried to derail our efforts, we bucked partisan politics and instead found common ground."

Extremes? Who would that be? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie? I'm sure the 3 right-wing senators are aware that Bernie won the 2016 primaries in their states against the status quo candidate all three of them supported (Hillary).
North Dakota:
Bernie- 64.2%
Hillary- 25.6%

Bernie- 52.5%
Hillary- 47.5%

Bernie- 51.1%
Hillary- 44.6%
I can't imagine that any-- or many-- of these Bernie voters are going to vote for the Republican Senate challengers in November. After all, the Democratic incumbents are certainly the lesser of two evils. But I wonder how many of these Democrats are just fed up with voting for lesser evils and will just not turn out at all.

There are 56 counties in Montana. Bernie won 34 of them. 3 small ones were exactly tied. Only 5 have over 80,000 people:
Yellowstone- 50.2% Hillary
Missoula- 60.4% Bernie
Gallatin- 57.0% Bernie
Flathead- 55.5% Bernie
Cascade- 52.7%
Is Tester going to explain to these people that Bernie is "extreme?" For wanting to keep banks from blowing up the economy again?
[W]hether the law will turn into electoral gold remains to be seen.

The banking industry remains deeply unpopular, and liberal activists have assailed the new law as a giveaway to the financial industry.

“There’s nobody that is going to be motivated to support someone because they’re proving their bipartisanship by giving banks what they want,” said a former Democratic strategist now leading a liberal nonprofit.

Trump made slashing Obama regulations a pillar of his 2016 campaign, and he pledged to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank shortly after his election. He hailed the new law as delivering on that promise.

“This is truly a great day for Americans, and a great day for workers and small businesses across the nation,” Trump said at the Thursday signing.

Heitkamp, Tester and Donnelly were key forces behind the successful loosening of the Dodd-Frank rules. The trio, along with Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), anchored the Democratic side of the negotiations.

...Heitkamp, Tester and Donnelly have also dismissed suggestions that they pushed to loosen the banking rules to protect their right flank in the midterm elections. While Heitkamp has avoided Trump’s wrath so far, the president has held rallies in Tester and Donnelly’s states in support of their Republican opponents.

“This election has nothing to do with this,” Tester said during a March press conference on the bill. “This has everything to do with access to capital and making sure rural America remains strong moving forward. If this bill didn't do that, I wouldn't support it."

While praise from Trump is toxic for Democrats in liberal strongholds, it could provide a boost to moderates from states where Trump is popular.
Praise from Trump? Was Sylvan Lane smoking crack when he wrote that? And where were his editors? Smoking crack with him? Trump isn't going to be praising Tester, Donnelly or Heitkamp before the election. This morning the NY Times reported that Trump "is planning to focus his midterm campaigning this summer on red states with competitive Senate races where he has a deep reservoir of support and can bring a message devised to stoke partisan outrage. The strategy is intended to take advantage of his star power among core Republican supporters while minimizing his exposure in states with competitive congressional races where his polarizing presence could help motivate Democrats as well as independents and moderate Republicans." Perhaps they should be hoping they get praise from Bernie.

It remains to be seen whether scaling back rules on banks will help the Democratic candidates win Republican votes, but polling indicates it could work.

Close to 70 percent of Republicans polled by Gallup in November said there is too much federal regulation of businesses, compared to 20 percent of Democrats.

A July study from Pew also showed a 13-point gap in the share of Republicans (46 percent) and Democrats (33 percent) who said banks and financial institutions have a positive impact on the U.S.

The American Bankers Association (ABA), a top U.S. bank lobbying group, has sought to aid Democrats who’ve supported efforts to roll back Dodd-Frank. The group spent $100,000 on TV ads in Montana featuring bankers praising Tester for his work on loosening bank rules.

“The release of these positive television ads represents another step in ABA’s advocacy for our members,” said ABA press secretary Ian McKendry. “We will be supporting candidates in both parties who have advocated for policies that will help banks better serve their customers and communities.”

But other campaign veterans doubt that the senators’ support for the law will be a difference-maker in November.

Stuart Roy, a GOP strategist and former aide to Senate Majority Leader Cocaine Mitch (R-KY), said “endangered Democrats will find this vote as helpful as a parachute that opens after the second bounce.”

“Voters barely remember big legislation,” Roy said, calling the bill “not even a fraction” of the importance of the main issues driving voters to the polls.

Roy also said Democrats could risk suppressing their base by touting efforts to scrap regulations.

A February poll commissioned by Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit supporting tough bank laws, found that only 17 percent of voters support loosening regulations on the biggest firms impacted by the bipartisan bill.

The survey, conducted by left-leaning Public Policy Polling, also found that 59 percent of voters support Dodd-Frank, and only 25 percent believe it went too far in regulating banks.

The former Democratic strategist said Democratic support for the Dodd-Frank bill is mainly useful as a way to keep financial sector super PACs and bank lobbyists from supporting their Republican opponents.

“It allows them to try to keep industry from donating to their opponent,” the strategist said. “But in terms of winning voters, it’s a losing issue for everybody.”
This kind of blatant anti-populism is going to cost Heitkamp, Donnelly and Tester dearly in November. They should have followed Manchin, who was smart enough to vote for the grassroots on this one. And I bet Democrats and independents agree with Elizabeth Warren on this one, not Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly or Jon Tester... or Donald Trump.

Related-- very related: Despite the DCCC urging Democratic candidates to keep at arm's length from Medicare-for-All, it's the candidates who are ignoring their bad advice who are doing the best. The DCCC is incapable of learning that lesson though, even if they weep bitterly as their shit candidates-- like Jay Hulings (TX), Brad Ashford (NE) and Jim Gray (KY) are flushed down the electoral toilet. Jake Johnson for Common Dreams:
With Medicare for All reaching record levels of support among both members of Congress and the American public—where support for single-payer is spreading "like wildfire"-- policy platforms demanding that the U.S. ditch its wasteful and deeply immoral for-profit system in favor of guaranteed healthcare for every American are also proving to be winners in Democratic primary fights across the country.

In red and blue states alike, candidates backing Medicare for All have emerged victorious in Democratic primary battles where, in some cases, their opponents had the backing of the party establishment.

...Further demonstrating the American public's hunger for a system that guarantees healthcare as a right regardless of one's ability to pay, a town hall hosted by Sanders and other Medicare for All advocates earlier this year drew 1.6 million viewers despite a complete blackout by the corporate media.

"It ain't gonna be on CBS. It ain't gonna be on NBC. What astounds me is we already have a pretty good majority of the American people who already believe in universal healthcare, believe that it is the government's responsibility to make sure that health care is a right," Sanders said. "And we have reached that stage with media not talking about the issue at all."

"Together we will successfully move the United States to a Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare system and guarantee healthcare to all," Sanders concluded.

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When Dylan Ratigan Said He Might Have Voted For Trump, Everyone's Jaw Dropped. When Richard Ojeda Said He Did Vote For Trump, He Won The Democratic Primary


Elisse Stefanik's North Country district (NY-21) is the biggest in New York State. Obama won it both times he ran but in 2016 it saw a big red swing. An even PVI is now R+4. Trump crushed Hillary 53.9% to 40.0%. And Stefanik was reelected in a landslide-- 65.3% to 30.2%. The DCCC had insisted on another conservative candidate to replicate their last congressman in the district, an exceptionally bad Blue Dog Bill Owens, who had retired in 2014.

The district includes all of Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Washington and Fulton counties and parts of Saratoga and Herkimer counties. Democrats up there don't go for status quo, establishment conservaDems. The district vote overwhelmingly for Zephyr Teachout against Andrew Cuomo in the last gubernatorial primary and this is how each county voted in the 2016 presidential primary:
Clinton- Bernie- 73.5%; Hillary- 26.5%
Essex- Bernie- 73.2%; Hillary- 26.8%
Franklin- Bernie- 70.95%; Hillary- 29.1%
Fulton- Bernie- 61.1%; Hillary- 38.9%
Hamilton- Bernie- 63.1%; Hillary- 36.9%
Herkimer- Bernie- 56.0%; Hillary- 44.0%
Jefferson- Bernie- 50.9%; Hillary- 49.1%
Lewis- Bernie- 59.1%; Hillary- 40.9%
Saratoga- Bernie- 55.8%; Hillary- 44.2%
St. Lawrence- Bernie- 58.9%; Hillary- 41.1%
Warren- Bernie- 61.7%; Hillary- 38.3%
Washington- Bernie- 64.1%; Hillary- 35.9%
So, you've probably noticed by now, that every single county-- most in landslides, voted for the progressive, not for the establishment mode4rate who had been the state's senator. Does that make the DCCC stop and think about what kind of a candidate Democrats want in that district? Of course not; DCCC staffing decisions favors morons and conservatives.

Currently there are five Democrats competing in the June 26 primary for the opportunity to go up against Stefanik. Not all of them have raised enough money to run a competitive campaign against Stefanik, who is sitting on a $1,301,870 warchest.
Tendra Cobb- $293,256
Emily Martz- $215,084
Katie Wilson- $166,464
Dylan Ratigan- $150,948
Patrick Nelson- $53,620
The only candidate who had raised substantial money, Don Boyajian ($492,873) withdrew this month to run for an Assembly seat instead. and the candidate with the most name recognition, former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, made a possibly fatal error a couple of weeks ago at a Democratic women's luncheon. He didn't voted in 2016 but told the audience that if he had he might have voted for Trump.
The statement is significant because Trump remains deeply unpopular and even toxic among many of the rank-and-file Democrats in the 21st House district who will decide next month's primary.

“It’s mind-boggling that a Democratic candidate asking for my vote would say this,” said Julie Wash from the town of Stillwater. She told North Country Public Radio that Ratigan made the comment in response to questions she posed.

“He said, I would have voted for Trump,” Wash recalled. “There was silence and everyone’s jaw dropped.”

...Asked by NCPR to detail her exchange with Ratigan, Wash said it began when she asked who he would have supported in the 2016 presidential race, if he had voted. He first named Bernie Sanders, she recalled.

Wash reminded Ratigan that Sen. Sanders wasn’t on the general election ballot and asked again who he would have chosen. That’s when Ratigan voiced a preference for Trump, she said.

Three other people at the table that day corroborated Wash’s account: “She kind of pressed [Ratigan] to choose between Clinton and Trump,” said Alan Stern, a Democrat from Greenwich. “He said, I would have voted for Donald Trump. I was pretty shocked as I think most of the people at the table were.”

“He said Donald Trump,” agreed Stern’s wife Mary Lou. “We all kind of looked at each other, like, did we hear that correctly?”

A fourth Democrat, Jill Nadolski from West Hebron, wasn’t interviewed by NCPR, but sent a public letter to the Glens Falls Post Star last week describing the exchange. Nadolski, who is Mary Lou Stern’s sister, wrote that she heard Ratigan voice support for Trump, while comparing himself to the Republican as “an outsider like me.”
Later, on a radio show, he tried worming out of it by saying he was joking and that the reports are part of a dirty tricks campaign designed to harm his campaign. He said "Somebody is trafficking in rumors to try to take me down because they’re threatened by my candidacy, which is part of our broken political system."
The Democrats who recounted the conversation are all supporters of Tedra Cobb of Canton, one of Ratigan’s primary opponents. All voiced anger about his Trump comments, but denied being part of an orchestrated effort to weaken his candidacy.

They described themselves as average voters, low-level unpaid volunteers and small-scale donors for the Cobb campaign, not the kind of experienced operatives who would take part in a political hatchet job.  None attempted to contact NCPR, but agreed to be interviewed after being telephoned by a reporter.

During those interviews, they also pushed back against Ratigan’s assertion that he spoke about Trump in jest. “In no way did I get that this was sarcastic or humorous,” Wash said.

“This is not a joke. Our republic is falling apart and for him to even insinuate that he was joking [about voting for Trump] inflames me.”

Trump remains a deeply polarizing figure in the North Country. After his surprise victory in November 2016, many Democrats in the 21st district joined marches and protest rallies focused on issues ranging from immigrant and women’s rights to healthcare and climate change. In interviews with NCPR, many Democratic voters say opposition to Trump has energized them ahead of the mid-term election.
On one level this reminds me of the battle in southern West Virginia where Democrat Richard Ojeda is facing off against Carol Miller in the third district. Ojeda-- like the 2016 primary voters in his district-- went heavily for Bernie. In the general election the district went heavily for Trump (a 72.5% to 23.3% landslide, one of Hillary's most catastrophic performances anywhere in the country). Ojeda was one of the Democrats who voted for Bernie in the primary and flipped to Trump in the general election. In the May 8th primary, he beat the 3 other Democrats combined.
Richard Ojeda- 29,837 (52.05%)
Shirley Love- 14,251 (24.86%)
Paul Davis- 9,063 (15.81%)
Janice Hagerman- 4,176 (7.28%)
He also beat the top Republican running, eventual GOP nominee Carol Miller, who got 8,936 votes. In fact, Ojeda took more votes than the 3 top Republicans combined. 57,327 Democrats were motivated to get out and vote in the primary but just 37,585 Republicans bothered showing up. Ojeda could actually win this thing. He's running on Bernie's economic populism but on the social conservatism that has helped Democrat Joe Manchin win both gubernatorial and Senate races deep in the heart of Trump country.

Will the same dynamic propel Ratigan to a victory next Tuesday in upstate New York? He's been trying to explain why he has disdain and contempt for the Democratic establishment and how that establishment has enabled Trump. We'll see if that works for him and short circuits the DCCC.

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