Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Historic November Landslide In The Making?


Utah has a couple of blue and purple counties-- Salt Lake and Summit (which Hillary won in 2016) and Grand which she kind of won too-- 1,934 for Hillary and 1,932 for Señor Trumpanzee, a 43.4% to 43.4% tie, with #NeverTrump conservative Evan McMullin and Libertarian Gary Johnson getting most of the balance. In 2018 Mitt Romney lost both Summit and Grand to Jenny Wilson, a Democrat. And a putative Democrat, Blue Dog Ben McAdams narrowly ousted (50.1% to 49.9%) Republican incumbent Mia Love in UT-04, where the D+9 performance of Salt Lake County overcame the massive red tide in Utah, Sanpete and Juab counties.

But we all know that Utah is a beet red, blood red state. Utah voted for FDR and Truman and in 1964 backed LBJ against Barry Goldwater, 219,628 (54.9%) to 180,682 (45.1%). But 1964 was the last time Utah gave its electoral votes to a Democrat. In fact, since 2000, Obama's first race was the only time Utah gave over 30% of it;'s vote to a Democrat. McCain beat him 62.6% to 34.4%. Usually, Democrats get around a quarter of the presidential vote in Utah-- worse than in the Deep South. And that's why the new poll from UtahPolicy.com was so shocking yesterday:

If it gets so bad for Trump that he loses Utah, he'll wind up the way Strom Thurmond did when he ran for president in 1948 on the Dixiecrat Party and won 4 states. The electoral map looked very different then and current Republican bastions now-- like Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Georgia and Utah-- were deep, deep blue. But these were the states that went for Thurmond in 1948 and will go for Trump in November:
Thurmond- 79.75%
Truman- not on the ballot
Dewey- 19.04%
Thurmond- 49.07%
Truman- 32.75%
Dewey- 14.45%
Thurmond- 87.17%
Truman- 10.09%
Dewey- 2.62%
South Carolina
Thurmond- 71.97
Truman- 24.14%
Dewey- 3.78
Thurmond also did pretty well in Arkansas, Florida and Georgia. He wasn't on the ballot in Utah. Anyway, as I was saying, if Trump can't win Utah... the national election results in November will be pretty gratifying for normal Americans. How could that happen, though? Well, ever hear of a U.S. president conspiring-- relatively openly-- with Russia and Saudi Arabia to drive up the price of gasoline at the pump? Yesterday the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia and Russia ended their oil price war on Sunday by finalizing a deal to make the biggest oil production cuts in history, following pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to support an energy sector ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic." That may give economically hard-pressed American voters some food for thought... at least about where Trump's priorities really are. Cliff Krauss, writing for the NY Times, noted that with "Trump, facing a re-election campaign, a plunging economy and American oil companies struggling with collapsing prices, [he] took the unusual step of getting involved after the two countries entered a price war a month ago. Mr. Trump had made an agreement a key priority. It was unclear, however, whether the cuts would be enough to bolster prices. Before the coronavirus crisis, 100 million barrels of oil each day fueled global commerce, but demand is down about 35 percent. While significant, the cuts agreed to on Sunday still fall far short of what is needed to bring oil production in line with demand... While the planned cut is slightly smaller than a tentative pact reached last Thursday, the deal should bring some relief to struggling economies in the Middle East and Africa and global oil companies, including American firms that directly and indirectly employ 10 million workers."

Higher gas prices are never popular but Trump is counting on the fact that most Americans aren't using gas now and that they might not notice him driving up the price. Unfortunately for him though, most Americans probably agree with the New Yorker's David Remnick that Trump is the preëxisting condition in the Oval Office that has made everything worse than it had to be. "From the start," he wrote, "the Trump Administration has waged war on science and expertise, making a great nation peculiarly vulnerable to the foreseeable public-health calamity of the coronavirus. When has New York known a grimmer week? The sirens are unceasing. Funeral parlors are overwhelmed. Refrigerator trailers are now in service as morgues, and can be found parked outside hospitals all over town. We’re told that there are 'glimmers of hope,' that hospital admissions are slowing, that the curve is flattening. Yet the misery is far from over... Across the country, the coronavirus continues to ravage the confined and the vulnerable, from inmates of the Cook County jail, in Chicago, to workers at the Tyson Foods poultry plant in Camilla, Georgia. Data from a variety of reliable sources show that African-Americans, who suffer disproportionately from poverty, inadequate housing, limited access to good health care, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, are dying from covid-19 at horrific rates. The pandemic is an event in the natural history of our species, but it is also a political episode. Its trajectory is shaped by policy measures specific to particular governments. The fact that the United States is experiencing tremendous losses-- that it has far more covid-19 cases than any other country in the world-- relates to a number of collective risk factors and preëxisting conditions. The most notable one is to be found in the Oval Office." Remnick joked that from the beginning of his term, Trump "practiced social distancing from anyone who told him what he didn’t want to hear."

The coronavirus has inflicted a level of pain that is deep and global. And yet many nations, from South Korea to Germany, have done far better at responding to it than the United States has. The reasons for the American failing include a lack of preparation, delayed mobilization, insufficient testing, and a reluctance to halt travel. The Administration, from its start, has waged war on science and expertise and on what Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon called “the administrative state.” The results are all around us. Trump has made sure that a great nation is peculiarly vulnerable to a foreseeable public-health calamity.

...The knowledge that we are led so ineptly and with such brazen self-regard is humiliating to millions of American citizens, if not to their leader. Trump gives himself “a ten” for his performance and berates any reporter who dares to challenge that premise. “You should say, ‘Congratulations! Great job!’ ” he told one, “instead of being so horrid in the way you ask the question!”

A nation facing a common threat normally pulls together, but Trump’s reflex is always to divide; he has invoked a multiplying litany of enemies. He directs his fire at the Obama Administration, at the World Health Organization, and at governors from Albany to Sacramento, with their constant pleas for ventilators, test kits, and face masks. The Democrats are to blame for everything. Early in the year, as the pandemic grew, they “diverted” the attention of the federal government, because “every day was all about impeachment,” as Trump’s unfailing loyalist Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, put it.

At a time of medical peril and economic devastation, the President heads to the White House briefing room and frames the terms of his reëlection campaign. It is a campaign of cynicism and authoritarian impulses. To begin with, he has made it clear that he does not approve of efforts to make voting easier in November. Why should he? He takes a dim view of early voting, voting by mail, and same-day registration. Such reforms, he complains, would produce “levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Let's hope. As Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) told DWT readers a few hours ago, "Last week, Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.  I will support him wholeheartedly, with no reservations. As many of you know, I supported Elizabeth Warren in the primaries.  Her leadership in our current crisis, as exemplified by her April 8 NYT op-ed, shows why she could have been one of our greatest presidents. After she dropped out of the race, I switched my Michigan primary vote to Bernie Sanders. Why? Because Senator Sanders and I agree on the need to transform our country in bold ways, including:  
 Medicare for All
A Green New Deal
Real worker voice and power in individual companies, industries and society
Bernie didn’t just run two successive presidential campaigns-- he inspired a movement that will have deep impacts on American policy and politics for years to come. Now, Bernie, Elizabeth and I will join with other progressives to create a veritable tsunami of organizing around our priorities to help sweep Joe Biden to power. The more we contribute, the more we help shape the fall campaign with open hearts and our best ideas, the more a Biden presidency will move America towards dignity and justice for all."

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At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was a real opposition party, with competent and honest leaders, and candidates who are clearly interested in serving the public, there would certainly be the likelihood of a landslide.

If elections were honest, and convenient locations were available for voters, who were encouraged to register and participate, there would certainly be the likelihood of a landslide.

Unfortunately, none of those things are prominent. The huge majority of politicians are owned by corporate interests and serve them for a lucrative "donation".

It will be same old same old one more time - and We the People lose.

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

I see Andy Levin is living with alice in the looking glass.

Supporting Warren? OK. logically defensible. Switching to Bernie? ditto.

wholeheartedly now supporting biden? Total and utter, ala Emily Latella, self-repudiation.

But then Bernie just endorsed his (much dumber) anti- ... again... still.

If America and americans never actually believe in their principles... you get a corrupt neoliberal fascist shithole that will NEVER be reformed, no matter how fervently you believe. Just like god will never answer your prayers no matter how fervently you believe...

fuck we're stupid!

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Will never vote for the senator from MBNA, period. Will, perhaps, hesitantly vote for Trump.

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utah is a special case. Even in 2016, Trump couldn't cross the 50% threshold (e.g. 45.54%). Trump's repeated attacks against Romney almost certainly hurt him then and will continue to dampen enthusiasm for him in the state in 2020.

There are a lot of things working against a landslide -- fragmentation of media and echo chambers being one. Additionally, a homelessness crisis in November isn't likely to help matters either. The GOP's control of elections at the state level as well is likely to be decisive in places like Georgia and Florida. Having a nominee like Biden who has the lowest enthusiastic support of any candidate since Al Gore is another.

Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin, PA, Michigan may flip blue. Still a ways to go.

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused. This predicts a biden landslide. The dictator piece predicts an easy trump win.

if biden wins and abdicates to corporations; or if trump wins and becomes the worlds' most retarded dictator... if you had to pick one...???

Yet still I AM the wrong one because I refuse to vote for either one?

one of those will win. the definition of a shithole. Eventually all you potted plants will come to realize it the hard way.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:40 PM, yeah, not exactly a great set of choices. Best case, if Biden wins is probably something like Virginia right now, where at least some progressive legislation is getting through a Dem controlled legislature. e.g. pay increases for teachers, a cap on insulin costs at $50 per month. Election day is now a national holiday. Expedited transition to renewable energy. It's nothing really transformational, but it's stuff that should help on the margins. In terms of building structural power in the future, they're moves in the right direction. Worst case is probably something like NY, where Cuomo has basically used his power to undermine progressive reforms and tried to make it more difficult for progressive candidates to win elections at the state level. Cuomo's governing pretty much the same way that you would expect a "moderate" Republican to govern. Cuts to critical social spending. Refusing to increase taxes. Passing laws that hurt renters and lower income voters while leaving the super-wealthy untouched. A lot of people around Biden and Biden's history would point in this direction. On the other hand, Virginia is probably closer to where the party is at a national level right now than New York. It's not exactly an easy sell to a lot of voters, even though Trump is doing everything possible to close the deal for the Dems.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good, thoughtful post, 10:46.

Quite frankly, I'm very surprised that VA democrats have done as much as they already have. The voting holiday thing is a big one that corporations would have paid a lot of bribe money to prevent.

I don't see Pelosi going against corporations on anything, so any nascent GND leaning toward renewables, national voting holiday or whatever. I see Pelosi doing her job and preventing debate on all of it. still.

Yes, looking as who biden has surrounded himself with, Cuomo's model is more likely. Actually, a repeat of rahm Emmanuel might be closer. There might even be a quorum of Nazis, if biden honors his promises (he won't have to, the promise was to attract anti-trump Nazi voters. He doesn't name his WH staff until after).

He'll likely be the retarded, ACTIVELY racist & misogynist, obamanation. He'll do fascism but he'll be less circumspect and more thin-skinned about it.


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