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A snapshot of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates’ supporters – Pew Research Center

Posted: February 10, 2020 at 11:45 pm

Candidates participated in the Democratic presidential primary debate at St. Anselm College on Feb. 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Democratic registered voters in the United States have a positive view of the field of candidates vying for their partys presidential nomination, and they generally agree with each other on issues ranging from gun laws to climate change, according to a January Pew Research Center survey.

But as the race for the nomination heads to New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, supporters of the major Democratic candidates stand apart from one another in notable ways. Below is a snapshot of some of these differences, based on the recent national survey of more than 10,000 U.S. registered voters, including nearly 5,900 Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents.

All findings in this analysis are based on the views of registered voters who are Democrats or lean to the party. Some candidates are not included due to sample size limitations.

This post analyzes the views of Democratic registered voters in the United States toward several candidates for the partys presidential nomination. The analysis is based on a survey of 12,638 U.S. adults, including 10,491 registered voters (5,861 of whom are Democratic and Democratic leaners) in January 2020. Everyone who took part is a member of Pew Research Centers American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. For more details, see the methodology for this report. Read more about Pew Research Centers ATP here.

Note: Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

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A snapshot of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates' supporters - Pew Research Center

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Trump at rally: Republicans ‘will vote the weakest’ Democrat New Hampshire primary – Washington Times

Posted: at 11:45 pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. President Trump on Monday said hes hearing that Republicans could cross over and vote in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire for the weakest candidate.

I hear a lot of Republicans tomorrow will vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats - does that make sense? You people wouldnt do that, Mr. Trump said as he rallied here before thousands of cheering supporters a day out from the New Hampshire primaries.

He said, though, the issue is that theyre all weak.

We proudly welcome and embrace voters of all parties and political persuasions who want to join our mission, a very simple mission, remember? Make America Great Again, he said. You can vote for the weakest candidate, if you want.

They dont know what theyre doing - they cant even count their votes, he said, referring to last weeks botched Iowa caucuses.

The president came within a whisker of defeating Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in 2016, though a Republican presidential candidate hasnt carried the state since 2000.

You have some pretty strange election laws here, right? Remember last time, we won the primary tremendously, he said. We should have won the [general] election but they had buses being shipped up from Massachusetts. Now you get prosecuted if you do what they did.

But we have done great, this has been an incredible state for us. Just great people. And we hear that theyre good because you have crossovers in primaries, dont you? he said.

Before he spoke, the crowd serenaded the president with chants of USA! USA!

We have more in this arena and outside of this arena than all of the other candidates, meaning the Democrats, put together and multiplied times five, he said.

There is a Republican primary in the Granite State on Tuesday, but Mr. Trumps victory is all but assured. His most prominent competitor is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, after former Rep. Joe Walsh ended his long-shot primary challenge to the president on Friday.

Unaffiliated voters in New Hampshire can vote in either partys primary. Conservative writer Bill Kristol is helping push an effort to get independent voters in New Hampshire to vote for a responsible Democratic candidate to take on Mr. Trump.

Supporters of the president said they saw the election-eve rally as a way to mess with the Democrats ahead of a make-or-break primary for much of the 2020 field.

They dont know what to do with him. Hes driving em crazy. Every single thing they try, he just comes out smelling like roses, said Michael Griffin, a 57-year-old fraud investigator from East Bridgewater, Mass.

This guy could sell ice to Eskimos, he said of the president. I watch him sometimes and Im just in total awe.

Dave Boyer reported from Washington.

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Trump at rally: Republicans 'will vote the weakest' Democrat New Hampshire primary - Washington Times

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What the Republican victory lap means for the Democratic Party | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 11:45 pm

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBrad Pitt quips he has more time to give Oscars speech than John Bolton had to testify Trump under pressure to renew last nuke treaty with Russia Trump to request 6 percent domestic cuts in .8 trillion budget MORE has finished the best week of his presidency. In the span of three days, he reveled in the botched Iowa caucuses, delivered a made for television State of the Union address that excited his base and infuriated Democrats, and was expeditiously acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial. To cap this all off, his approval rating hit a record high of 49 percent, according to Gallup. His approval rating among independents also ticked up to 42 percent, tying three previous polls as his best among that group.

Trump was not the only one to experience a polling surge. Gallup found that 51 percent of Americans now view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43 percent months ago and above 50 percent for the first time since 2005, marking a major win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Simply put, Trump is now in a better position to win reelection than ever before, while the future of the Democratic Party is marred by uncertainty.

Indeed, the Iowa caucuses last week were expected to provide clarity and substance to a Democratic primary race that so far has been defined by hypothetical analysis and rapidly changing poll numbers. All throughout the previous month, the top candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Bernie Sanders, all polled in first place in Iowa at some point, according to the Real Clear Politics averages.

With 100 percent of the vote now in, it seems that Buttigieg has won the state of Iowa, although Sanders came in an extraordinarily close second. It is also entirely possible for these results to change, as the Associated Press has been unable to declare a winner because of irregularities, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has also asked to recanvass the vote, but it is still unclear what the eventual result will be.

In all likelihood, Buttigieg and Sanders will end up splitting a majority of the delegates in Iowa, allowing both candidates to declare victory while leaving the primary race with even less clarity than before. There is now no clear frontrunner. While the disorder in Iowa is very disappointing for the Democratic Party, it is even more discouraging in light of the fact that Trump is now emboldened by a strong economy, soaring fundraising, his acquittal in the Senate, and record high job approval among Americans.

Biden, who leads in most national polls and thought to be the candidate most likely to beat Trump, finished in a distant and disappointing fourth place in Iowa. In a campaign that already lacks not just enthusiasm but also money, this poses a significant problem for his candidacy. Given his cratering in Iowa, it has become clear to many that Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergWhat the Republican victory lap means for the Democratic Party Buttigieg targeting seven Super Tuesday states with ad campaign Democrats ramp up attacks on opponents in final pitch before New Hampshire MORE, who did not compete in Iowa nor in any of the other early states, may be the only candidate who can successfully take on Trump and defeat him.

To be clear, I am currently working for the Bloomberg campaign. I have worked with the former New York City mayor for more than two decades. Objectively, however, it has now become clear that Bloomberg is the only Democrat who could successfully take on Trump. As the former leader of the largest city in the nation and one of the great capitalists of our time, Bloomberg is the only viable candidate in the race who can go toe to toe with Trump on the economy, which is the strongest issue for Republicans, and make a compelling argument that resonates with many swing voters.

Furthermore, Bloomberg is also arguably the only Democratic candidate to emerge from the first primary contest in a relatively stronger position. While the rest of the candidates were caught up with the Iowa debacle, Bloomberg spent the week talking to voters in Super Tuesday states like California and Virginia, as well as general election swing states such as Pennsylvania, running a campaign focused on his record and leadership, but also a campaign that has now gotten under the skin of the president.

A Morning Consult poll revealed Bloomberg leading all the Democratic candidates in a hypothetical matchup against Trump, as 47 percent of respondents said they would vote for Bloomberg, 40 percent said they would choose Trump, and 13 percent undecided. While Bloomberg has also been making steady primary polling gains, likely among voters who seek a steady hand and are put off by the disarray, and is arguably the candidate in the best position to defeat Trump, it is now clear that the Democratic Party has finished its worst week since the 2016 election.

Trump, on the other hand, decisively had his best week. He is in a better position to win reelection than ever before, unless the Democratic Party can find a way to unite behind a candidate who can actually defeat him.

Douglas Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) is adviser to President Bill Clinton and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is the author of Collapse: A World in Crisis and the Urgency of American Leadership.

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What the Republican victory lap means for the Democratic Party | TheHill - The Hill

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Juan Williams on the Democratic race: ‘Sometimes a roller coaster goes off the tracks’ – Fox News

Posted: at 11:45 pm

Juan Williams defended the Democratic Party from criticism in the wake of the Iowa caucuses fiasco Monday,saying the "process is always messy."

"The reality is that the nominating process is always a messy process and it's always like a roller coaster," Williams said on "The Five" Monday. "And sometimes a roller coaster goes off the tracks. And sometimes you think Jeb Bush is going to be the nominee and then it's Donald Trump."


Ahead of Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, Williams predicted that the turbulence on the Democratic side will settle down once a nominee emerges.

"We don't know where this is going," Williams said. "But once there's a nominee, I think the dynamic shifts and you stop talking about that dysfunction, you start talking about Democrats coalescing behind a candidate."

Co-host Katie Pavlich disagreedwith Williams, arguingthat "momentum doesn't just apply to individual candidates. It applies to the party as a whole."

"When you have the Iowa caucus vote still being in disarray, they still can't figure out whether all the data and information was in the voting system," Pavlich said. "There is now this cloud over the entire primary process from the beginning about whether the person who may end up winning actually won it fairly."


Pavlich argued that the cloud is likely to linger if supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., believe he was unfairly deprived of the Democratic nomination for the second straight election cycle.

"That is certainly something that the Bernie camp will be thinking about when they go into this, if he doesn't get the nomination, and whether they are going to then support the nominee against President Trump," Pavlich said.

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Democrats pan Trump’s budget proposal as ‘dead on arrival’ | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 11:45 pm

The Trump Budget does not see a problem in this country it cannot somehow make worse. Unless, of course, the problem is that the wealthiest families and largest corporations in this country havent gotten enough tax cuts, or that the military-industrial complex isnt raking in profits that are obscene enough," Sanders in a statement.

Trump's budget also proposes steep cuts to several departments, including a 37 percent cut for the Commerce Department, a 26 percent cut for the Environmental Protection Agency and a 21 percent cut to the State Department and foreign aid.

Presidential budgets are routinely ignored on Capitol Hill, where both the House and Senate will pen their own fiscal 2021 spending bills. But they give the administration a chance to unveil its own political wishlist and underscore its priorities heading into the November election.

Democrats quickly put the budget proposal in the context of the looming election, where both the White House and control of Congress is up for grabs.

"The Trump administration is a broken record; we keep hearing the same tune over and over, and this year is no exception. Its time for a president who puts the middle class first," he said in a statement.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) tried to connect the budget proposal to Republicans who are up for reelection in November.

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Democrats pan Trump's budget proposal as 'dead on arrival' | TheHill - The Hill

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James Carville is scared to death about whether Sanders and others can beat Trump –

Posted: at 11:45 pm

James Carville is scared to death of the November 2020 election.

In a rant on MSNBC that went viral on Tuesday evening, the longtime Democratic strategist vented his concerns about the partys prospects for beating Donald Trump, taking particular aim at the partys leftward lurch.

Eighteen percent of the population controls 52 Senate seats, Carville said. Weve got to be a majoritarian party. The urban core is not gonna get it done. What we need is power! Do you understand? Thats what this is about.

His diatribe took place against the backdrop of an Iowa caucus that had fallen into chaos and amid a rancorous ongoing debate among Democrats over the partys direction. He took particular aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he fears could lead the party to defeat in November.

Carvilles lament distills a concern among the Democratic Partys establishment: Will ideological purity and playing to the base cost the Democrats victory in November? For Carville, at least, We have one moral imperative, and thats to beat Donald Trump. That his comments went viral speaks to the sense of urgency among Democrats, even as it only fuels the debate over the direction of the party.

I spoke with Carville this week by phone. We discussed where he thinks the Democrats went wrong, what it will take to build a majoritarian party in this climate, and why he doesnt have a lot of confidence in the current field of candidates.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

Why are you scared to death about the 2020 election?

Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected, what we wanted. Trumps approval rating is probably as high as its been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party cant even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think?

Ill just say it this way: The fate of the world depends on the Democrats getting their shit together and winning in November. We have to beat Trump. And so far, I dont like what I see. And a lot of people I talk to feel the same way.

Whats gone wrong? Whos responsible?

I dont know. We just had an election in 2018. We did great. We talked about everything we needed to talk about, and we won. And now its like were losing our damn minds. Someones got to step their game up here.

What does that mean?

In 2018, Democrats recruited really strong candidates, really qualified candidates. And the party said, This is what were going to talk about and were going to keep talking about it. And you know what happened? We fucking won. We didnt get distracted, we didnt get deflected.

Give me an example of what you mean by distractions.

We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. Theyre talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. Youve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesnt matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments talking about that is not how you win a national election. Its not how you become a majoritarian party.

For fucks sake, weve got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while hes talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I dont see any of the candidates taking advantage of it.

The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they cant win, theyre out of their damn minds.

I wouldnt endorse everything every Democrat is doing or saying, but are they really destroying the party? What does that even mean?

Look, Bernie Sanders isnt a Democrat. Hes never been a Democrat. Hes an ideologue. And Ive been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, Ill vote for him. No question. Ill take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But hes not a Democrat.

You know people are going to read this and say, Carville backed Clinton in 2016. So did the Democratic establishment. They blew it in 2016. Why should I care what any of them think now?

People will say anything. And first of all, Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million. And secondly, the Russians put Jill Stein in front of Clintons campaign to depress votes. And thirdly, the New York Times a week before an election, assured its readers that the Russians were not even trying to help Trump. And then they wrote 15,000 stories about Hillarys emails.

But back to Sanders what Im saying is the Democratic Party isnt Bernie Sanders, whatever you think about Sanders.

A lot of threads there. First, a lot of people dont trust the Democratic Party, dont believe in the party, for reasons youve already mentioned, and so they just dont care about that. They want change. And I guess the other thing Id say is, 2016 scrambled our understanding of whats possible in American politics.

Are we really sure Sanders cant win?

Who the hell knows? But heres what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But theres no chance in hell well ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. Thats the deal, fair or not.

So long as [Mitch] McConnell runs the Senate, its game over. Theres no chance well change the courts, and nothing will happen, and hell just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.

The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters.

Whats the answer?

By framing, repeating, and delivering a coherent, meaningful message that is relevant to peoples lives and having the political skill not to be sucked into every rabbit hole that somebody puts in front of you.

The Democratic Party is the party of African Americans. Its becoming a party of educated suburbanites, particularly women. Its the party of Latinos. Were a party of immigrants. Most of the people arent into all this distracting shit about open borders and letting prisoners vote. They dont care. They have lives to lead. They have kids. They have parents that are sick. Thats what we have to talk about. Thats all we should talk about.

Its not that this stuff doesnt matter. And its not that we shouldnt talk about race. We have to talk about race. Its about how you deliver and frame the message. I thought Cory Bookers baby bonds plan was great and the kind of thing the party could connect to peoples actual lives.

We have one moral imperative here, and thats beating Trump. Nothing else matters.

So your complaint is basically that the party has tacked too far to the left?

Theyve tacked off the damn radar screen. And look, I dont consider myself a moderate or a centrist. Im a liberal. But not everything has to be on the left-right continuum. I love Warrens day care plan just like I love Bookers baby bonds. Thats the kind of stuff our candidates should explain and define clearly and repeatedly for voters and not get diverted by whatever the hell is in the air that day.

Heres another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. Im not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They dont want to hear this shit. And you saw Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. Its just not a winning message.

The real argument here is that some people think theres a real yearning for a left-wing revolution in this country, and if we just appeal to the people who feel that, well grow and excite them and well win. But theres a word a lot of people hate that I love: politics. It means building coalitions to win elections. It means sometimes having to sit back and listen to what people think and framing your message accordingly.

Thats all I care about. Right now the most important thing is getting this career criminal whos stealing everything that isnt nailed down out of the White House. We cant do anything for anyone if we dont start there and then acquire more power.

Can I say one more thing about the cultural disconnect?


I want to give you an example of the problem here. A few weeks ago, Binyamin Appelbaum, an economics writer for the New York Times, posted a snarky tweet about how LSU canceled classes for the National Championship game. And then he said, do the Warren/Sanders free public college proposals include LSU, or would it only apply to actual schools?

You know how fucking patronizing that is to people in the South or in the middle of the country? First, LSU has an unusually high graduation rate, but thats not the point. Its the goddamn smugness. This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and theres not a single person he knows that doesnt pat him on the back for that kind of tweet. Hes so fucking smart.

Appelbaum doesnt speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset. We cant win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesnt give off vapors that were smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.

A lot of Democratic candidates dont talk like that. Warren doesnt talk like that. Sanders doesnt talk like that. Buttigieg doesnt talk like that. Cory Booker never talked like that.

Warren knows her stuff, and Im particularly hard on her, because she was the star pupil, the one who was smart, had a good story. But I think she gets distracted and loses her core anti-corruption message, which resonates. With a lot of these candidates, their consultants are telling them, If you doubt it, just go left. We got to get the nomination.

And then Biden gets in and blocks out good candidates like Cory Booker or Michael Bennet or Steve Bullock by occupying this mainstream lane. There just isnt enough oxygen and they couldnt get any traction. But these are serious people, professional people, and they couldve delivered a winning message.

Are you confident that any of the remaining candidates can beat Trump?

I dont know, I just dont know. Im hoping that someone gets knocked off their horse on the road to Damascus.

Buttigieg seems to model the sort of candidate you think can win.

Mayor Pete has to demonstrate over the course of a campaign that he can excite and motivate arguably the most important constituents in the Democratic Party: African Americans. These voters are a hell of a lot more important than a bunch of 25-year-olds shouting everyone down on Twitter.

I take all your points about power and the Senate and the need to be a majoritarian party. I just wonder where the limits are, especially in this media ecosystem where even the best Democratic messaging gets deformed and bastardized in right-wing media and thus never reaches the people Democrats need to reach, or at least doesnt reach enough of them.

I think the other side wants us to think there are no swing voters, that were doomed and it doesnt even matter if you have a message because you cant reach anyone. I think thats bullshit. I think thats a wholly incorrect view of American politics. But look, if no ones persuadable, then lets just have the revolution.

Falling into despair wont help anyone, though. I mean, you can curse the darkness or you can light a candle. Im getting a fucking welding torch. Okay?

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James Carville is scared to death about whether Sanders and others can beat Trump -

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Democrats should be very afraid of Trump’s powerful pitch to black voters – Washington Examiner

Posted: at 11:45 pm

Democrats have long taken the black vote for granted. So imagine their surprise this week when liberal darling and black pundit Van Jones issued a warning: President Trump is making inroads with black voters.

"What [Trump] was saying to African Americans can be effective," the CNN pundit said. "You may not like it, but he mentioned [historically black colleges and universities]. Our black colleges have been struggling for a long time. A bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them in real life in his budget. He talked about criminal justice reforms. He talked about 'opportunity zones.' He talked about school choice."

Jones continued:

We've got to wake up, folks. There's a whole bubble thing that goes on, saying, 'Well, he said s-hole nations. Therefore, all black people are going to hate him forever.' That ain't necessarily so. And I think what you're going to see him do is say, 'You may not like my rhetoric, but look at my results look at my record,' to black people. If he narrowcasts that, it's going to be effective.

Trump will never win a majority of the black vote. But he doesn't have to. If he follows through on his current strategy, he has a massive opportunity to win a greater share of it in 2020 than the 5% to 10% that Republicans have received since 2008. If Trump gets even 20% of the black vote in swing states such as Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania, then Democrats will simply have no path to victory.

Trump has already developed his three-part pitch to black voters, which was reflected in his State of the Union. First, he's already gotten criminal justice reform done. Second, he will give you a choice of where your children go to school even if you aren't wealthy. And third, he has brought measurable economic progress to minority communities.

The first prong of this platform came through in Trumps compelling Super Bowl advertisement, which highlighted the story of Alice Johnson. This grandmother was serving a life sentence for nonviolent drug crimes until Trump commuted her sentence. The commercial touted the presidents passage of the First Step Act, a bipartisan, landmark criminal justice reform bill that took the nation one step closer to a just prison system by focusing on rehabilitation and preventing recidivism.

Criminal justice reform disproportionately benefits black people such as Johnson. It polls extremely well among black voters too. Trump is wise to make this a key part of his pitch, which he echoed in his State of the Union address.

The Trump administration has also promoted school choice initiatives at every turn. These programs, which allow low-income students and their families to escape failing public schools and attend public charter schools or private institutions, are proven to deliver results and, unsurprisingly, poll excellently with minority voters.

Trump's reelection campaign can tout his support for proposals such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss Education Freedom Scholarships. Democrats, in contrast, have turned against all forms of school choice. Most of this year's Democratic presidential candidates even reject charter schools, which President Barack Obama strongly supported during his tenure. This is a great reason why black voters might choose now to jump ship. Support for school choice helped Gov. Ron DeSantis win Florida in 2018 over a black Democrat in part, due to black mothers backing him. It can work for Trump too.

Trump is also rightfully touting record-low unemployment rates for blacks every chance he gets, including during his State of the Union address. The promising figures are a continuation of a longer-term trend, but theres no doubt the president deserves some credit for the rising economic tide.

To be sure, and as Jones noted in his commentary, Trump has a history of making callous and racially inflammatory remarks. He woefully botched his comments on the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, leaving people questioning his honor. But recent months show Trump seemingly learning from those mistakes. He has put together a coherent, compelling pitch to black voters. It could pay off big in 2020.

As Democrats consider their leading options for president Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and other candidates who will struggle more than your average Hillary Clinton (let alone an Obama) to win black voters they have every reason to worry.

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Democrats should be very afraid of Trump's powerful pitch to black voters - Washington Examiner

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The Challenge Facing Democrats in the 2020 Election – The New Yorker

Posted: at 11:45 pm

According to Rudge, a brusque high-school senior in Alan Bennetts play The History Boys, history is one fucking thing after another. In the past few days, Democrats have been reminded of what Rudge meant. On Monday, the failure of a data-sharing app plunged the Iowa Democratic caucus into a state of paralysis. On Tuesday, a Gallup poll showed Donald Trumps approval rate rising to forty-nine per cent, the highest mark of his Presidency. Later that day, Trump delivered a State of the Union address packed with falsehoods and demagoguery. On Wednesday, his impeachment trial came to an end, with the G.O.P.-controlled Senate voting to acquit, and only one Republican dissenting. Trump reacted by tweeting out a meme of his Presidency going on forever.

With nine months to go until the Presidential election, Trumps celebratory gesture was premature, to say the least. But anyone who wants to deny him a second term needs to be clear-eyed about the challenge ahead. Most Presidents who run for relection win. Given his incumbency and an economy that is still growing steadily, Trump has two key advantages on his side. Defeating him is going to take a mighty effort from the Democrats and their supportersone that combines energy, cleverness, and discipline, rather than the disorganization and dysfunction displayed in Iowa.

Since the Second World War, only three sitting Presidents have run for relection and been defeated: Gerald Ford, in 1976; Jimmy Carter, in 1980; and George H. W. Bush, in 1992. Nine of the twelve incumbents who sought relection won. In two of the three races where incumbents were defeated, the economy wasor was perceived to bein serious trouble. With policymakers at the Federal Reserve expecting G.D.P. growth to continue at a rate of around two per cent this year, what about this November? Ray Fair, an economist at Yale, built a statistical model that seeks to forecast elections on the basis of incumbency and G.D.P. growth. Over the years, the Fair model has had a mixed record, reflecting the fact that these factors arent the only ones which impact elections. But the model does provide a handy way of summarizing some key factors, and it is now predicting that Trump will win the popular vote comfortably. If that happened, he would win an even bigger victory in the electoral college.

This forecast shouldnt be taken literally. In an era of intense polarization, there is evidence that economics doesnt play as big a role as it used to in driving voting patterns. On his Web site, Fair stresses that his model also doesnt take into account the personality of individual candidates, which is obviously a key factor in the case of Trump. Throughout his Presidency, his job-approval rating has lagged far behind his approval rating on economic issues. Thats still true. In the aforementioned Gallup survey, sixty-three per cent of respondents said that they approved of Trumps handling of the economyfourteen points above his job-approval rating.

It should also be noted that the Gallup job-approval rating is an outlier. A new Reuters poll puts Trumps rating at forty-two per cent, and an Economist/YouGov poll puts it at forty-four per cent. On Thursday afternoon, the Real Clear Politics poll average, which combines the findings from many individual surveys findings, had Trump at 45.2 per cent, with a disapproval rating of 51.8 per cent. Four months ago, his approval rating was 43.6 per cent, and his disapproval rating was 53.7 per cent. These numbers tell us that Trump is still unpopular, but that he has become a bit less so recently. Whether that shift reflects positive economic news or the impeachment trial, or both, isnt clear.

The key point is that Trump is now sufficiently popular, and the economic environment is sufficiently benign, to make his relection a real and live danger. (In the online betting markets, for what they are worth, he is already a strong favorite to win.) This year, again, the result will most likely come down to ten battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and, of course, the three Rust Belt states that Trump flipped in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. According to the data-research firm Morning Consult, Trumps disapproval rating currently exceeds his approval rating in all of these states apart from Florida. But the gap has narrowed in a number of places, including Arizona, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.

The identity of the Democratic candidate will obviously be vitally important, but so will the manner in which the campaign is conducted. Everyone associated with the Democratic Partyfrom grassroots activists to elected officials and Party operativeswill need to unite behind the winner of the primary, whoever it is, and avoid scoring any own goals. During a hard-fought primary election, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the various candidates and their supporters to project this sort of unity and discipline. But other Democrats are showing how it can be done.

During the impeachment trial, the House managers, and particularly Adam Schiff, laid out their arguments with such professionalism and care that even some Republican senators conceded that they had made the case persuasively. (Except in the case of Mitt Romney, of course, this wasnt enough to persuade them to find Trump guilty.) And, after Trumps State of the Union address, Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, delivered a Democratic response that deserved much more attention than it got.

Rather than engaging with Trump directly, Whitmer highlighted Democratic efforts to reduce gun violence, invest in infrastructure, lower prescription-drug prices, and expand access to health care. She also contrasted these initiatives with the Trump Administrations record of showering tax cuts on the wealthy and trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, including the protections it afforded people with prexisting conditions. Its pretty simple, she said. Democrats are trying to make your health care better; Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.

You can argue about whether the sorts of policies that Whitmer lauded are sufficient to rebalance a society that has been so grossly distorted by political corruption, record corporate profits, and rising inequalitythis debate lies at the heart of the divide between the Bernie SandersElizabeth Warren and Joe BidenPete Buttigieg wings of the Democratic Party. In terms of campaign strategy, however, keeping the focus on everyday issues and on the mendaciousness of Trump and the Republicans offers the best prospect of defeating them in November. Despite it all, they are still beatable. Democrats need to get their act together and concentrate on the common enemy.

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The Challenge Facing Democrats in the 2020 Election - The New Yorker

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In New Hampshire And Beyond, Where Is The Democratic Party Headed? – NPR

Posted: at 11:45 pm

People line up to hear Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speak in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Win McNamee/Getty Images / Win McNamee hide caption

People line up to hear Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speak in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Democrats are divided. And that's nothing new.

But this year is different because the party has moved left. Progressives, young people, and many voters of color see this election cycle as an opportunity to fundamentally change their party.

But older Democrats maybe aren't as open to change. But they definitely vote. And underneath it all is an even more pressing question: who can beat Donald Trump?

Should the party play it safe? Or go big, move left and try to excite progressives?

We get to the heart of the Democratic dilemma and get an update on the New Hampshire primary with Dan Barrick, news director at New Hampshire Public Radio; Daniel Newhauser, senior political reporter for Vice News; Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign; and Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America.

Like what you hear? Find more of our programs online.

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In New Hampshire And Beyond, Where Is The Democratic Party Headed? - NPR

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Trump Voters Have Found a Democrat They Can Get Behind in New Hampshire – Mother Jones

Posted: at 11:45 pm

About a half-hour before Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbards town hall here on Thursday, a guest at the Fireside Inn & Suites in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, ducked into the conference room to inquire about all the signs. When a volunteer filled him in, he sounded skeptical. Shes running forpresident?

Yes, and to hear some of the folks here tell it, she might even win.

Gabbards long-shot campaign has yet to take off nationally, and there are a lot of reasons for thattheres her strange familycult?; her public feud with Hillary Clinton; her failure to qualify for the last three debates; and the obvious fact that Bernie Sanders, who she backed in 2016, is still here and now may be the frontrunner. But Gabbard is holding down about 5 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, according to the Suffolk University tracking poll. Thats potential spoiler territory, with the first-in-the-nation primary just days away.

So wheres all that support coming from? If the crowd at the hotel was any indication, its a whole lot of Republicans and independents who supported President Donald Trump four years ago.

She has a lot of class, but shes sort of the Democratic Trump, said Anthony Stevens of Vermont, who was there with his fiancee, a Democrat who was still undecided. Stevens meant it as a good thingafter all, hed voted for the president four years ago. This time around he was looking for someone different (Trump does not have a lot of class). He liked Gabbards anti-war stance and was drawn, again, to a candidate who had clashed with her own party.

Shes got to feel like Rudolphthey wont let her play in the games, Stevens said, alluding to her exclusion from the most recent debates. (Gabbard has failed to meet the qualifying threshold for Fridays debate at the University of New Hampshire.)

A few seats over sat Bob Gill, a former Marine who is now a horse farmer in New Hampshire. He had also voted for Trump. Gill was still undecided, but liked Gabbard because he thought she might be the kind of voice who could maybe bring people back together. Plus, I like that shes looking to save some money on the wars and everything, he said. But he had no patience for the rest of the field, particularly the septuagenarians topping the polls in some of the Super Tuesday states. Id put them out to pasture, he said.

Sitting in the back, Lisa Buck-Rogers, an Air Force veteran and New Hampshire voter, told me she also supported Trump, but would most likely vote against him this fall. Gabbards criticism of American military actions struck a chord with her. I like how she feels about respecting our veterans and making sure their lives are spent accordingly. She likes some of what Sanders says, too, particularly on health care, but shes Gabby as long as I can.

Ask a voter what they like about, say, Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren, and you might get a range of answers. But the responses I got about Gabbard were unusually consistentwhat Scott Decker, a supporter from Burlington, Vermont summed up as anti-imperialism. Other candidates oppose foreign intervention to varying degrees, but it dominates Gabbards message, so much so that to these supporters, it supersedes the kinds of policies (like single-payer health care) they might consider a deal-breaker in the eyes of someone else.

Ken Rafferty, an independent from Lebanon, New Hampshire, voted for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in the Republican primary in 2016, but he didnt vote in the general election that year. Im glad I didnt, because I never would have voted for either one of those guys, he said, referring to Trump and Clinton, though, in retrospect, Im kind of concerned about Trump. Rafferty disagreed with much of what Gabbard was pushing, particularly when it came to health care. But because of her criticism of American military action in the Middle East, and of her own party, Gabbard was the only Democrat hed even consider supporting.

Independents can vote in whichever primary they choose in New Hampshire, and Gabbard is leaning into her support from unaffiliated voters. At the town hall on Thursday, she asked, as she often does, for a show of hands from the Democrats in the room. There were maybe six of them, in a crowd of about 40. Another half dozen were Republicans, the rest independents. (Though unfortunately for Gabbard, many of these independents were from neighboring Vermont.) A few people in the audience applauded at the results.

For these Republicans and independents, it helps that Gabbard sometimes seems to have as much of a beef with the Democratic Party establishment as they do.

Anybody who is banned from the mainstream media and who gets shit from Hillary Clinton is my kind of person, said Decker, a Burlington, Vermont, resident who said who would also support Sanders in the general election if he gets there.

Gabbard knew right away that the DNC was fixed, Buck-Rogers said, referring to Gabbards decision to step down from her post as Democratic National Committee vice-chair in 2016.

Still, while Gabbard is happy to go on Fox News, engage Trump voters, and feud with her party, theres still one line she wont cross. During the Q&A that followed her stump speech, she took a question from a man in a Tulsi T-shirt, named Paul Woodman, who was sitting next to a man wearing a Fuck Trump pin. I voted against Hillary, which means I voted for Trump, Woodman told her. He just might do it again, if Democrats dont nominate the congresswoman standing in front of him. Gabbard was the only Democrat he could stomach, and he was convinced she wasnt going to get a fair shake from the DNC, even if she ended up with enough delegates to compete for the nomination. Have you ever consideredchanging parties or re-affiliating?, he asked.

She smiled, thanked him for the question, and tried to dispel, once more, the idea that theres no longer a place for her in the party. First of all: no

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Trump Voters Have Found a Democrat They Can Get Behind in New Hampshire - Mother Jones

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