Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

“on earth peace, good will toward men.”

—Luke 2:14

Christmas. Birth. New life. Celebrating the birth of the rabbi who taught us to turn the other cheek, to answer hate with love.

Christmas.  A birth celebrated by a messenger calling for peace and goodwill on earth. What a great religion, one that celebrates peace, a celebration build upon understanding the horror of war.

Christmas, a major holiday for 2.2 billion mostly Latin Americans, East Europeans, Africans, Asians, even as Christianity declines in North America and Western Europe; as Islam grows in the East.

“God is love.”

—John 4:8

Each person comes to religion in their own way.  For me, life has purpose, and that purpose is love.  Love is a powerful force inside each of us, or else life is without meaning.  Want to understand God?  Understand love.  The joy of living beyond oneself, the joy of giving.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged.”

—Luke 6:37

How can we as imperfect humans, so ignorant in relation to all that is impossible to know, take upon ourselves the work of God?  I fear calls for “justice.” They come from people convinced they are our betters. Christ took on such “betters,” the priests of his day.

We are all equal before God, flawed, striving, unworthy of being forgiven but through grace, forgiven anyway to free us to love.

My thoughts.  I have no special insight, though I have lived a life.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Election: Why the @#%&! Electoral College?

“we tend toward a 50-50 nation[, yet] parties see their wins as a sign that they’ve finally ‘won’ at politics”

Sean Trende, “RealClearPolitics”

“just eight years ago, Democrats had total control of Washington—assuming Republicans will be in power forever is folly.”

Mark Hemingway, “Federalist”

The Democratic fit over Clinton losing to Trump in the electoral college is a bit overdone.  What happened in 2016 — the electoral college winner losing the popular vote by 2.8 million — may never happen again. 

But an electoral college makes sense.  We are, after all, the United States of America.  Our motto is E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many, one.”

It’s the only way our nation became one in 1787.  The states weren’t going to give up all their sovereignty to a national government.  That’s why the Senate, where each state has two votes no matter its size, is half of Congress.  That’s why the Constitution’s Xth Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” [emphasis added]

That’s why the electoral college grants votes for president to the states, acting individually and separately.  In deference to popular will, the electoral college weighs the power of each state’s vote by population size, so that California has 55 electoral votes and Wyoming 3.  But California is still just one of 50.

As conservative Mark Hemingway wrote:
Nearly the entire premise of the U.S. Constitution—including the Electoral College—is setting up a system of government such that in a large country with as many striking regional and political differences as ours, one state can’t dominate the rest. Clinton’s margin of victory in California was 4.3 million votes. The rest of the country has good reason not to want national elections to be determined by California alone.
Hemingway reminded us how rapidly the political winds shift (see quotation above).  Today, progressives fret about the wasted power of votes cast by big city Democrats.  Yet progressive Jonathan Bernstein took a longer view when he wrote:
The big, urban states traditionally did very well in the electoral college. . . . New York used to be a major swing state; California also was very contested once it became large, and even Texas had a run as a competitive state with big cities for a while. For whatever reason, all of that has slipped some over the last twenty or thirty years . . . Still, all else equal, a presidential candidate would rather pander to a large state with lots of winner-take-all electoral votes than a small one, which should tend, over time, to balance out the small-state advantage in the Senate. [emphasis added]
In the 2016 election, almost all experts believed a Trump victory impossible unless he carried Florida’s 29 electoral votes.  So both candidates campaigned heavily in the large, swing, Sunshine State.

One possible electoral college reform would be to replace the current winner-take-all state electoral vote calculation with allocations based on how candidates did in each congressional district.  The National Archives describes how such a system would work, pointing to Maine, which currently so allocates its four electoral votes:
Maine .   .   . awards one Electoral vote per Congressional district and two by the state-wide, “at-large” vote. It is possible for Candidate A to win the first district and receive one Electoral vote, Candidate B to win the second district and receive one Electoral vote, and Candidate C, who finished a close second in both the first and second districts, to win the two at-large Electoral votes.
Progressive Mark Joseph Stern, in “Slate,” doesn’t like such a system, saying it would “favor Republicans, who have long sought to carve up purple states to deprive Democrats of electoral votes.”

Stern agrees with Bernstein’s reluctance to give up the impact big states earn through the electoral college’s “winner-take-all” state-by-state allocation.

The progressive “Daily Kos” is currently mapping the congressional districts won by Trump and Clinton.  Results so far suggest Trump would have won if electoral votes were allocated by congressional district.  Today, the “Daily Kos” tally is 147 congressional districts for Trump, 140 for Clinton, with 148 districts, mostly in Trump states, yet to be determined.

Arthur Lieber, in the progressive “Occasional Planet,” adds a strong note of sobriety to any electoral college reform short of abolishing the electoral college outright:
proportional electoral voting by state.   .   .  would clearly be a much more democratic process. However, this method would only work if all fifty states agreed to allocate their electors proportionally. The likelihood of that would be less than that of passing a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with the popular vote.
Conservative Peter J. Wallison argues the electoral college’s benefit is “to settle the question of legitimacy,” since the winner becomes president, even without a popular plurality or majority:
In the election of 1992, Bill Clinton received a majority of electoral votes and was the duly elected president, despite the fact that he received only a plurality (43%) of the popular votes [see here]. In fact, Bill Clinton did not win a majority of the popular vote in either of his elections, yet there was never any doubt—because he won an Electoral College majority—that he had the legitimacy to speak for the American people.
Chicago Tribune conservative John Kass defends in stark terms the electoral college as a protector of minority rights.  Kass proclaims that
abolishing the Electoral College to satisfy a party's power demands would usher in “The Hunger Games.”
Getting rid of the Electoral College would provide pure "majority rules" democracy, but not freedom. And minority rights as protected by our republic would disappear.
I've been reminded of the famous anecdote of the two wolves and the lamb voting on what to have for dinner. The wolves had the votes.
"What do you think you're doing?" cried the lamb. "What of minority rights?"
"Majority rules," said one wolf.
"We're hungry," said the other wolf. "I mean, I could eat a horse, but I'll settle for lamb.”

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Election: The Popular Vote Says. . .

What does the popular vote tell us about who wins the White House?  It’s a serious question when so many millions in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s loss believe she should be president because she won a popular vote plurality over her Republican opponent.

There have been eight elections since the Reagan era, four won by Republicans, four by Democrats (bold in my chart above, click to enlarge).  In all eight, the winner gained an electoral vote majority. In half the elections, the winner also gained a popular vote majority.  No popular vote majority winner failed to win the electoral college.

Close elections are the norm. Most candidates running between 1988 and 2016 received a minority of the popular votes in a narrow range between 46% and 49% (see chart).  That group includes three winners and six losers, five Democrats and four Republicans.

Hillary Clinton is in this group, along with her winning husband and accompanied by three other Democrats, who like Hillary were losers.  Donald Trump is also here, alongside GOP winner George W. Bush and two Republican losers.  The popular vote plurality leader in this narrow range equates somewhat randomly to electoral college winners.

Note that Hillary Clinton, who is supposed to be president in the eyes of many because she won 48.1% of the popular vote, received a smaller popular vote share in 2016 than did loser John Kerry in 2004 (48.3%).

But Hillary did beat out her husband’s 1992 winning share. 

Bill Clinton is the only winner in the chart’s tiny bottom group (above) — those who received less than 45% of the popular vote.  Clinton won a mere 43% of the popular vote in his exciting “don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” 1992 election.  The nation at the time saw Clinton’s win as an echo of John Kennedy’s dramatic 1960 victory that brought “a new generation” of leaders to power.  Note, however that Kennedy, like Clinton, was a popular vote minority president, having won only 49.7% of the total vote in 1960.

Evidently, sometimes change candidates — Trump comes to mind — barely scratch their way to power, with the popular vote majority going elsewhere.

Here’s another look at the popular vote, in this case votes for each candidate since 2000 (above, my 2nd chart).  There are three trends.  First, Republicans and Democrats both improved their 2000 popular vote in 2004.  Second, after 2004, Republicans could not top Bush’s 2004 victory total until 2016, when Trump gained more votes for president than had any Republican in history.  Third, Obama’s 2008 vote total is the most any presidential candidate received ever. Democrats have done worse in each election since.

Trump’s votes show Republicans on the rise to new heights, up in 2012 from 2008, and up again this year.  Meanwhile, Hillary has done worse than Obama in 2012, who did worse than Obama in 2008.  Obama, in fact, was the only incumbent president ever to receive less votes in his second term.

One has to wonder, with the Democratic popular vote trend line headed downward, why would Hillary run as the status quo candidate?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Election: Conservatives on Why Trump Won

Trump won because people unhappy with both candidates voted for change.  Here, from conservative commentators, are other reasons for Trump’s triumph.

Intolerance of Elite Rule

From William McGurn, Wall Street Journal:
liberals come across as intolerant of ordinary Americans today [with] their preference for court decisions and regulatory mandates over democratically debated and approved legislation. This preference for working around the people’s elected representatives feeds all-or-nothing outcomes that are devoid of the accommodations and compromises which almost always feature in any legislative solution.
Comment: Progressives are better than us; “father knows best.”  Why should our betters compromise?  Maybe because lesser folks vote too.

Disgust with Identity Politics

From Monica Crowley, Washington Times:
The left’s multidecade grand plan — to change the very nature of the country by moving it toward European-style socialism — reached its pinnacle with Obama. And yet, those statist policies are — paradoxically — greatly responsible for Donald Trump’s win.

Obama had three main goals: to expand government as fast and as widely as possible; the ultimate objective of that was to expand the number of people dependent of government as fast and as widely as possible; and the ultimate objective of that was to leverage it into a permanent Democratic voting majority.

To achieve those goals, he chose to pit Americans against each other in order to make it easier to slide in his radical redistributionist agenda. He divided us by class, gender, race and age. He turned the American motto “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of Many, One”) upside down and into “Out of One, Many.” The American experiment could not go on as it once did if it were driven by divisions and envy rather than uniting values and common goals.
Comment: Clinton, following Obama, played identity politics for all it was worth.  Why? Because she had nothing else to run on — Obama’s economy isn’t working. The irony is our credentialed “betters” don’t deliver prosperity for the middle and working classes.

Trumping the “Race Card”

From Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal:
most liberals and their friends in the media continue to view Trump’s victory through a self-serving racial lens. Today, race is the Democratic Party’s organizing principle. Group identity is a doctrine and group grievances are to be nurtured and exploited politically no matter the damage to civil discourse.
Comment: Riley, who is black, doesn’t like the way Democrats’ focus on race affects our “civil discourse.”  OK, but Riley errs in his use of the word “today” in his sentence, “Today, race is the Democratic Party’s organizing principle.”

Since Vice President (1825-32) John C. Calhoun’s time, Democrats have used race as an “organizing principle,” first to hold the South, then after the 1960s civil rights struggle, to gain the rest of the country.  While the racial hostility target has shifted 180 degrees from blacks to “rednecks,” “Yahoos,” and “white supremacists,” the organizing principle remains the same: win through demonizing a race, not by fixing the economy.

The Democrats’ effort backfired in 2016, when fed-up whites in key northern states got behind Trump.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Election: Trump Derangement Syndrome

Fascist Mussolini                               "Fascist" Trump
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.   .   . They are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Hillary Clinton

Why do progressives, in response to the Trump phenomenon, insist on “going low” and matching Trump’s name calling?

In his Washington Post article titled, “Donald Trump is actually a fascist,” progressive Michael Kinsley argues that Trump is:
a fascist[, n]ot in the sense of an all-purpose bad guy, but in the sense of somebody who sincerely believes that the toxic combination of strong government and strong corporations.   .   . “Nazism” and “fascism” — are now beyond all respectability. [“Fascist”] means, roughly, combining the power of the state with the power of corporations.  .  . At its most toxic, it is concentration camps.
Set aside the fact that progressives complaining about big government and big business working hand-in-hand is the pot calling the kettle black.  Also, please set aside the fact that, last year, this blog itself compared Trump to the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.  But that was long before Trump secured the Republican nomination, much less the presidency, and was based partly upon the facial resemblance of the Donald to il Duce (picture). 

Kinsley is calling the person who will be inaugurated in less than six weeks in a nation bound by the U.S. Constitution someone who might put Americans into “concentration camps.”  What is going on?

Here is another example of a mainstream progressive going off the rails — former Atlantic editor James Fallows writing in his old publication of his “Despair .  .  . in the Age of Trump”:
through its cycle of struggle and renewal, the United States is in a continual process of becoming a better version of itself. What I have seen directly over the past decade.   .   .  has reinforced my sense that our current era has been another one of painful but remarkable reinvention, in which the United States is doing more than most other societies to position itself, despite technological and economic challenges, for a new era of prosperity, opportunity, and hope.

And now we have Donald Trump.   .   .  I view Trump’s election as the most grievous blow that the American idea has suffered in my lifetime. The Kennedy and King assassinations and the 9/11 attacks were crimes and tragedies. The wars in Vietnam and Iraq were disastrous mistakes. But the country recovered. For a democratic process to elevate a man expressing total disregard for democratic norms and institutions is worse.
How can Fallows seriously compare today to the terrible years between 1965 and 1974 — assassinations, Vietnam, 58,000 victims of the draft dead, massive unrest throughout the country over war and civil rights, the Democrats torn apart, two presidents driven from office, Watergate -- a constitutional crisis lasting nearly two years?  Fallows lived those years. 

Today, someone “expressing total disregard for democratic norms and institutions is worse.”  Really, worse? Trump is checked by the Constitution, the separation of powers, U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule, the courts, and Fallows’ own media.

“Progressive” means “moving forward or onward:  advancing.”  Fallows’ most significant sentence may be, “the United States is in a continual process of becoming a better version of itself.”  That’s the progressive religion.  The near civil war that was 1960’s America was o.k., because we became “a better version” of ourselves (in progressive eyes at least).  Trump is an appalling step backward, returning to Kinsley’s 1930's fascism, if not exactly the caveman era.

Both Kinsley and Fallows supported Hillary Clinton, who called one-fourth of American voters — not Trump himself — in an election where she needed every vote she could get, “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it” “irredeemable" “deplorables.” 

We documented how divided is America by where people live — either in mostly coastal big cities or elsewhere — and progressive support is particularly concentrated in “the Capitol” (in “Hunger Games” terms) — that combination of wealth and power where both Fallows and Kinsley reside; the “swamp” Trump hopes to “drain”.

No doubt the fact that the “people”, in the form of popular votes cast, supported Clinton over Trump by 2.8 million votes (2.1%) helps explain why progressives are exploding as Trump’s inauguration approaches.  But as the progressive Will Marshall wrote in the “Daily Beast”:
There’s no point in whining about the Electoral College. Team Clinton knew the terrain on which the race would be decided.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Election: GOP Sweep Wide and Deep

“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

Selena Zito, Atlantic

“when poor Bill Clinton piped up at strategy sessions and wondered why Hillary’s campaign wasn’t trying to appeal to [working class whites], he was treated as an embarrassing relic, out of touch with the inexorable tide of the future.”

Rich Lowry, New York Post

Who knew Obama’s presidency would turn out like Dwight Eisenhower’s, not Franklin Roosevelt’s?  The personalities of Ike and Obama — radically different.  Ike got along with Democrats; Obama only with Democrats. But their failure to turn personal triumphs into either party victories or wins for their successors — remarkably parallel.

The White House

This blog found in 2010 what has become conventional wisdom; it argued Democrats, at least in presidential years, were building an unassailable demographic majority of unmarried females, racial and ethnic minorities, and youth. But this year contrary to conventional wisdom, Sean Trende in “RealClearPolitics” showed us that:
Donald Trump.   .   .  captured 71% of the two-party vote among whites without college degrees, eclipsing Ronald Reagan’s record-setting mark of 66% in 1984. To put that in perspective, Trump received a larger vote share from whites without college degrees than Hillary Clinton received from Hispanics. Whites without college degrees also happened to cast three times as many votes as Hispanics (and probably more, since people lie about their level of education). To top it off, he performed better among Hispanics and African-Americans than Mitt Romney had four years earlier.
Blue: Clinton; Red: Trump, from Washington Post
Trende further found that:
[since] 2002, African-American [turnout] rates have always lagged Republican rates by around 5%, give or take.  This was true in 2010 as well as 2014.  The exceptions were 2008 and 2012, when [with Obama topping the ballot,] African-American turnout rates exceeded white rates.

the Hispanic share of the electorate has actually increased glacially.  It was 8% of the electorate in 2004, 9% in 2008, 10% in 2012, and 11% in 2016. The fact that Hispanics are increasingly adopting a “white” identity (“racial attrition”) may blunt this growth in the future.

In 2004, white evangelicals were 23% of the electorate, and they cast 78% of their vote for fellow evangelical George W. Bush.  In 2012, they were 26% of the electorate, and gave Mormon Mitt Romney 78% of the vote.  In 2016, Donald J. Trump, a thrice-married man who bragged about sleeping with married women .   .   . won 81% of their vote[, and evangelicals] were once again 26% of the electorate.


Jay Cost, in the conservative Weekly Standard, sums up Obama’s lack of coat tails in congressional elections:
When President Obama took office in 2009, Democrats claimed 257 House seats, 60 Senate seats (after Arlen Specter switched sides), 28 governorships, and total control of 27 state legislatures. Many pundits figured that the Republican party was turning into nothing more than a regional coalition, with little strength outside the South.
Red: Republicans; Blue: Democrats. 2008-15, @ Washington Post  
In the end, no two-term president during the postwar era lost more U.S. House seats than did Obama. While Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012, he did so with 3.6 million fewer votes than in 2008. Cost wrote that “Such a victory is without precedent. Every incumbent president who has won election to a second term did so by increasing his total votes—except Obama.”

John Podhoretz and Noah C. Rothman, writing in the conservative Commentary, marked the decline of Democratic congressional strength from midterm to midterm:
In the 2006 midterms, when an anti-GOP wave began, Democratic candidates for the House received a national total of 42.3 million votes. In the next midterm election, 2010, they received 38.9 million votes, a decline of 9%. In 2014, they were down to 35.6 million votes, a 10% decline from the 2010 midterms. In all, Democrats have gained a total of two seats back from their 2010 low. That means they have suffered a net loss of 61 Democratic elected officials from the House of Representatives in the Obama era.

The States

According to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, GOP control over state legislatures is “more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party,” now holding “more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920.”

Podhoretz and Rothman detail the Democrats’ state level wipe-out:
There are some 8,000 elected officials in the United States at the state and federal levels. Between 2009, when Barack Obama took office, and today, as he prepares to retire from it, more than 1,100 Democratic elected officials lost their jobs to Republicans. That number is unprecedented.

Barack Obama entered the White House with his party in control of 62 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers. By January 2015, Republicans were in control of 68. He then made it a personal mission to help reverse the damage that had caused the ejection of nearly a thousand Democratic state legislators from their seats by voters. He made 150 down-ballot endorsements in 2016 and even hit the trail for a few of them at a time when his personal approval rating was above 50%.

Red: Republicans; Blue: Democrats, @ Washington Post
The result of the president’s direct intercession? The Democrats did worse. On Election Night in 2016, Republicans took full control of the legislatures in Minnesota and Iowa. The Democratic Party’s sole remaining legislative majority in the South, in Kentucky, fell to the GOP for the first time in nearly 100 years. In North Carolina, the GOP held onto veto-proof majorities in state legislatures despite the statewide loss of an unpopular Republican governor. The GOP prevented Democrats from retaking the state Senate in New York.

Red: Republicans; Blue: Democrats. 2008-15, @ Washington Post
Democrats held 31 governorships in 2009. Now they hold 17, having been kicked out of the mansions in Missouri, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Following this year’s election, Republicans have control of all levers of government in 25 states.

Sums up  Kevin Williamson, in the conservative National Review:
the majority of Americans live in states in which there are Republican trifectas [governor plus both legislative houses] or veto-proof legislative majorities. [emphasis added]

Monday, December 05, 2016

Election: Obama is Why Trump Ran

Donald Trump applied to trademark the phrase “Make America Great Again” [in 2012,] six days after President Obama was elected to a second term.

Daily Beast

We all know Trump was really a pro-choice Democrat, friends with fellow New Yorkers the Clintons and New York’s senior senator Chuck Schumer.  We also know, however, the New York elite never embraced the developer from Queens, and that he explored running for president as a Reform Party candidate in 2000.

What may have taken Trump from play to serious presidential candidate was an event in 2011: that year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.  For some reason, most likely irritation over Trump’s repeated questioning of his native-born American status, President Barack Obama decided to rip hard into Trump at the event.  With Trump in the audience and visibly humiliated in front of all these big shots, Obama said:
I know that he’s taken some flack lately—no one is prouder to put this birth-certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And—where are Biggie and Tupac? We all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example—no, seriously—just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice [when a team did not impress, you] didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf—you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night.
 The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, for one, suspects that
on that night, Trump’s own sense of public humiliation became so overwhelming that he decided, perhaps at first unconsciously, that he would, somehow, get his own back—perhaps even pursue the Presidency after all, no matter how nihilistically or absurdly, and redeem himself.
Trump did not run in 2012, but once Obama was re-elected that year, and three years before he became a declared candidate in 2015, Trump registered his “Make America Great Again” trademark, indicating 1) his seriousness about running, and 2) his strategy for winning.

As Godfather Don Corleone noted, "Revenge is a dish that tastes best .  .  . cold.”

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Election: The Clinton World Defined

“more than one-third of Democrats in the new House come from only three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Two-thirds are from either the West Coast or the East Coast.”

Lisa Boothe, Washington Examiner

Many seek to understand how Clinton could win the popular vote over Trump by (now) 2.6 million, yet lose decisively in the Electoral College.  The answer, as Lisa Boothe shows in relation to Democratic domination of East and West Coast representation in Congress, is that progressives concentrate in mostly coastal big cities.

Clinton's Base of Strength

More than one-third of Clinton’s popular vote, 34.3%, came from just six states: the California-New York-Massachusetts concentration Boothe singled out, plus Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington DC’s Virginia suburbs (see map, hit to enlarge).  Clinton’s winning margin over Trump in these six states plus DC metro Virginia totaled 9.2 million votes. That’s 3.6 times Clinton’s total winning margin; wasted extra votes.

These seven states including Virginia (that state's DC suburbs delivered Virginia to Clinton) provided nearly three-fifths (152 electoral votes, see map above) of Clinton’s needed 270.  Yet just a few of the seven's 9.2 million extra votes -- if cast elsewhere -- would have easily given Clinton the 38 electoral votes she so needed beyond the 232 she gained.

The AMTRAK Acela Corridor
Progressives rule California and the Boston-DC so-called “Acela Corridor” (see AMTRAK’s Acela route, hit to enlarge).

Illinois' Cook County (Chicago)
Plus Chicago. Chicago merits recognition because Clinton’s winning margin in Chicago’s Cook County exceeded her Illinois winning margin.  Outside Chicago, Clinton lost Illinois by 216,000 votes.

In the six states plus the Virginia DC suburbs, Clinton won a whopping 63% of the votes that went to either her or Trump.  In the rest of America, Trump won 56% of the two-way vote.

DC's Virginia Suburbs
When one thinks of the Acela Corridor, one thinks of Boston’s and the Ivy League’s academic influence, the concentrated media and financial clout of greater New York City, and the powerhouse DC metro area with its “Hunger Games”-like government-based wealth and power.

Acela means Harvard-MIT, the New York Times, publishing, foundations, Broadway, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, and the Washington Post. Chicago is “Second City” to all this. California is the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley. Just think, 63% of everyone in these six-plus power states voted Clinton over Trump! 

No wonder “the world” thought Trump was doomed.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Election Prophesy: Pennsylvania

On February 3, 2015, shortly after the 2014 mid-term election, I pointed out that Pennsylvania had become a key swing state, that it was trending Republican (even though the state hadn’t voted GOP for president since 1988).  In “Swinging Pennsylvania. Who knew?”, I wrote:
Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts, 13 Republican, 5 Democratic. Both houses of the state legislature are Republican. And why not? The bulk of the state is Appalachia (see map [below]), dominated by the lower income white population that is leaving the Democratic Party, their cousins having already delivered West Virginia to the GOP.

Four months later, in a post titled, “Quinnipiac Poll Shock: Trump Catches Clinton in 3 Crucial States,” I called the Quinnipiac Poll “a blog favorite,” because it “rightly considers Pennsylvania, along with Florida and Ohio, one of three swing states that could well decide the 2016 election.”

Finally a year after that, this past June, I published “If 2016 is about race, Trump could win,” where I said the Keystone State “is THE key state, as was Florida to Bush’s win in 2000 and Ohio to Bush’s re-election in 2004.”

Pennsylvania, along with Florida and Ohio which George W. Bush won in both 2000 and 2004, plus all the states Romney had carried in 2012, gave Trump 273 electoral votes of a needed 270, just enough to win.