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Republican voter registration on the rise in Luzerne County – Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

Posted: February 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

THE CITIZENS VOICE FILE President Donald Trump arrives on stage for a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp. in 2018.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to the crowd during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre on Monday, April 25, 2016. Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

Since 2009, Democratic voter registration has been shrinking in Luzerne County.

Democratic registration is down from 59% of voters in 2008 to 50% today. Republican registration is up from 33% to 37%.

I think this is a trend you will see continue in Luzerne County for the foreseeable future, said Benjamin T. Toll, a political science professor at Wilkes University. Democrats at the national level have not been appealing to the type of voter that exists in Luzerne County, and Republicans have been speaking to the interests of local voters.

From 2008 through 2019, a total of 16,248 Democrats switched their registration to Republican in Luzerne County, according to the state Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation. By comparison, 5,784 Republicans in the county became Democrats those years.

Donald Trump is another big reason for those Republican registration gains in Luzerne County, Toll said.

President Trump speaks to the concerns of many voters in the county, and the Republican Party has become an extension of his views, Toll said. The Democrats have largely left rural areas for the interests of cities in the last generation, and this will result in losses in places like Luzerne County.

In 2016, 1,031 Republicans switched to Democrat in Luzerne County, while 5,815 Democrats became Republicans. Some Democrats switched that year to vote for Trump in a competitive Republican primary, and some Democrats who remained Democrats that year voted for Trump in general election.

Trump crushed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the county with 58% of the vote, despite the Democratic registration advantage. He became the first Republican presidential candidate since 1988 to win Pennsylvanias Electoral College votes and the Luzerne County vote.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party is working to get Democrats who voted for Trump to register as Republicans, Deputy Executive Director Charlie ONeill said.

Were always looking to register more Republicans, ONeill said. Were proud of the folks in Luzerne County who have been registering Republican and switching parties. Republican values are winning them over.

Pennsylvania voters who say Ive been a Democrat my whole life have been changing parties because of Trump and Democratic opposition to fracking, ONeill said.

More Democrats will also switch to Republican this year so they can vote in the April 28 primary election, ONeill said. The primary includes a competitive Republican contest for the 8th Congressional district.

Six Republicans have announced they will run in the primary for the 8th Congressional District, which includes eastern Luzerne County and other Northeastern Pennsylvania counties Lackawanna, Wayne, Pike and most of Monroe. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Moosic, represents the district.

Pennsylvanias primary elections are closed. Voters registered as unaffiliated or with minor parties cant vote in Republican or Democratic primaries.

Yet more voters in Luzerne County have also been registering with other parties or as unaffiliated. Registration with other parties or unaffiliated has increased from 8% in 2008 of voters to 13% today.

Its an evolution, Luzerne County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Bozinski said about the decline in Democratic registration. There are a lot of theories as to what is causing it. Maybe its that fact that there are more older registered voters who are changing their minds about certain things and young people not coming into the mix to change their place. I dont know what causes it, but we are trying to reach out to everyone to make sure we can become a little bit stronger.

Republican registration gains in the county have continued since Trumps election. Democratic switches to Republican totaled 4,460 in 2017 to 2019, compared to 1,522 Republican switches to Democrat in those three years.

We will likely see Republicans continue to increase their gains in the area, Toll said, noting the decline in union households and the decreasing population in urban areas of the county.

So far this year, 421 Democrats have switched to Republican, and 93 Republicans became Democrats. Republicans have also been making registration gains statewide, though not at the Luzerne County rate.

Democratic registration in the state is down from 52% in 2008 to 48% today, while Republican registration is up from 37% to 38%. From 2008 through 2019, 418,302 Democrats switched to Republican statewide, while 248,006 Republicans switched to Democrat over that time.

The Progressive Turnout Project, an organization that hopes to get Democratic voters to the polls, announced a $45 million plan to start a six-month canvassing program in May that will engage low-propensity, low-information Democratic voters in Pennsylvania. The organization says it is targeting 25,994 voters in Luzerne County.

The Luzerne County Democratic Party will focus on registering new county residents, college students and young professionals, Bozinski said.

We need to increase our voter registration in two areas college students and professionals. While there is some level of strong engagement, a broader level of our college students and young professionals arent really coming out to vote and perhaps arent registered yet, she said. We are also looking at doing direct outreach into our new and emerging communities, the Latino community in the Hazleton area, as well as in Wilkes-Barre, new folks in the Wyoming Valley, to make sure they are engaged, make sure they are registered, make sure they are part of the process and have a place at the table.

Larry Michalski, head of Misericordia Universitys Republican student, and Carlee Capece, leader of Misericordias Democratic student group, both said they plan to set up tables on campus to try to get students registered. They said they will try to get students to register using their campus addresses, especially if they are from another state.

Pennsylvania is a swing state, Michalski said.

Gregory Chang, chairman of Wilkes Universitys Democratic club, said they are trying to register students with fliers on campus and through social media.

Luzerne County Democrats also want to register students at Luzerne County Community College, which is primarily a commuter school and also has some older learners as well who might not be registered to vote, Bozinski said. The Democratic National Committee is also going to help register voters in the county, she added.

We are very optimistic, she said. We will have some presidential hopefuls come through this area, and that always galvanizes voters.

The last year Democratic registration surged in Luzerne County was 2008 when Barack Obama won the Democratic presidential nomination and the White House. Clinton also defeated Obama in that years hotly contested Pennsylvania primary.

The number of registered Democrats in the county jumped from 99,122 in November 2007 to 111,329 in November 2008. Republican registration during that time increased by much smaller amount, from 60,512 to 61,080.

Contact the writer:

mbuffer@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer

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‘Elevated by God’: MSNBC host clashes with Republican over Trump ‘authoritarianism’ – Washington Examiner

Posted: at 7:56 pm

MSNBC host Joy Reid went head-to-head with the leader of the Ohio Black Republican Association over whether President Trump is an authoritarian.

Reid claimed on the network Sunday that Trump has all the "markers" of autocracy and had caused a "normalization of violence." Tracey Winbush, the head of the Republican group, hit back at the host, saying Reid did not understand true leadership.

"Everything that you said about the president's authoritarianism, the thing about autocracy, none of that means anything because youre not understanding leadership," she said, later adding, "Journalists dont want to cover the truth, they dont want to cover the facts. They don't want to cover them. They never have. They have never told the truth and/or the facts about President Trump."

"That's actually not true," Reid responded to Winbush's assertion about journalists not covering facts. Near the end of the contentious segment, Reid asked the guest whether the president was "sent by God."

"All power is elevated by God," Winbush responded. "I believe Donald Trump is in office because God allowed him to be there to give America a reprieve so that they can reset and get back to normal."

The segment then came to a close when Winbush asserted that Trump is a "king" if he trusts in Jesus Christ. The panel laughed at the Republican as Reid cut her off.

In November, Trump's outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the president was "the chosen one." He added that he also believes former President Barack Obama was used by God when he was in office.

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In the Republican primary for railroad commissioner, here’s our recommendation – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: at 7:56 pm

Ryan Sitton, a smart, reliable conservative and pro-energy voice on the three-person Railroad Commission of Texas, gets our nod over rancher James Jim Wright.

Sittons tenure has been a mixed bag. While he has been a persuasive proponent of the Texas energy economy at conferences, he also has cast votes and taken positions that perpetuate the lingering narrative that he and fellow railroad commissioners are too close to the industry they regulate.

There is both truth and hyperbole in that statement since the commission has the dual responsibilities to promote and regulate oil and gas operations in Texas.

That said, we share concerns that Sitton, who was elected to the commission in 2014, sometimes is too close to the oil and gas industry he grew up in and now regulates. Sitton, 45, was slow to acknowledge the scientific evidence that linked seismic activity with wastewater disposal wells. More recently, he drew scrutiny when he voted to exempt a company from state rules limiting flaring, a controlled burning of natural gas at the well site.

What makes the flaring vote so eye-catching is that flaring is wasteful and releases pollutants into the atmosphere. Its also true that energy producers abuse the practice to dispose of unwanted gas when pipelines are available to transport the gas.

Sitton also gave us pause when he answered in our Voter Guide that there are no negative environmental impacts of drilling for natural gas. He is right when he notes that natural gas production has allowed Texas and the United States to retire dirty coal plants, a net plus. However, all forms of energy production have upsides and downsides, and Sittons assertion doesnt seem to adequately acknowledge the negatives.

Wright is thoughtful, shares our concerns about flaring and seismicity, and wants to increase transparency at the commission. He said he would create a business and citizen roundtable to provide input to the commission. However, he isnt a viable candidate. He did not complete our Voter Guide questionnaire and his campaign lacks a meaningful website or social media presence.

Overall, the commission needs to adapt to the increasing complex challenges of regulating energy resources to address a broad range of issues including the impact on urban and rural areas, concerns about water use in energy production and seismic activity.

Sitton is the better choice in this primary and would be a better commissioner if he struck a better balance between his dual responsibilities as energy regulator and energy promoter.

Ready to vote?

Part of a series of Dallas Morning News recommendations in the March 3 primary election.

Early voting starts: Feb. 18

Election Day: March 3

For more information:

Collin County 1-800-687-8546 https://www.collincountytx.gov/elections

Dallas County 214-819-6300 https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/

Denton County 940-349-3200 https://www.votedenton.com/

Ellis County 972-825-5195 http://co.ellis.tx.us/312/Elections

Kaufman County 972-932-0298 https://www.kaufmancounty.net/elections

Rockwall County 972-204-6200 https://www.rockwallvotes.com/

Tarrant County 817-831-8683 http://access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections.html

For more help, including how to check your registration status, contact the Texas secretary of state at 1-800-252-8683 or visit https://www.votetexas.gov/

Got an opinion about this issue? Send a letter to the editor, and you just might get published.

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Republicans make the pitch they’re the most like Trump in Texas’ 24th Congressional District primary – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: at 7:56 pm

GRAPEVINE As the Republican congressional candidate forum came to a close, David Fegan stood and proudly asserted that he was the only candidate to profess his admiration for President Donald Trump on his campaign signs.

Desi Maes, one of his opponents, shot up to correct the record. His campaign material also yells out unwavering support for the commander in chief.

As in so many other Republican primaries, one of the central issues in Texas 24th Congressional District is who is the most Trumpian. The forum, held in early February on the third floor of a furniture store in this Dallas suburb, was only one of the venues where the candidates touted their Trump credentials.

On the trail, Beth Van Duyne, the former mayor of Irving and presumptive front-runner, points out she was a Trump appointee, serving as a regional administrator in the federal housing department. She earned Trumps endorsement Wednesday.

Jeron Liverman, evokes Trumps pro-business platform and promises to cut federal taxes.

And then there is Sunny Chaparala, a naturalized American who was born in India. Shes unapologetically politically incorrect, self-funds her campaign and uses Facebook to engage directly with supporters much like Trump uses Twitter.

The five-way primary to replace Kenny Marchant, a retiring eight-term GOP lawmaker, is the first battle in what is expected to be a hard-fought election to keep the seat in the Republican column. Each candidate hopes to win the seat outright or at least make it to a May runoff if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Once reliably red, the gerrymandered seat representing more than a dozen cities in Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties is so competitive that the election is expected to attract national attention and money from both parties and a bevy of outside groups.

[Read more about the candidates in The Dallas Morning News voter guide here.]

When Van Duyne filed her paperwork to run in the primary, she listed her occupation as single mom/consultant.

If you ask her opponents, shes a career politician.

Van Duyne first entered politics in 2004 when she won a seat on the Irving City Council, ousting incumbent Herbert Gears. She beat Gears again in 2011 when she won the mayoral race.

On the campaign trail she touts a record of cutting taxes, lowering the citys crime rate and attracting major business to the Dallas suburb.

As mayor, Van Duyne also had a knack for making national headlines. In 2015, she raised concerns about the legality of an Islamic tribunal and accused the organization of circumventing American courts and settling disputes according to the Islamic law of Shariah.

In 2016, she went to work for the Trump administration at the housing department, where she saw the belly of the beast of bureaucracy. She resigned her position last year to run for Congress.

Her opponents, especially Maes, suggest Van Duyne has lived off the government too long and is too entrenched in the establishment, a claim Van Duyne rebuts with jokes.

People can be very naive walking into politics. You wouldnt hire a CEO with no business experience, she said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. Ive been a public servant. You dont make a living being the mayor of Irving.

Like most of her Republican opponents, Van Duyne is running hard on immigration. However, she said she also wants to work on lowering health care costs and securing funding for infrastructure.

And she isnt afraid to talk about gun violence. Her pledge is to fight social justice warriors who, in Van Duynes opinion, too often plead down violent offenders from felonies to misdemeanors a move that would allow criminals to continue to buy firearms.

Maes wants you to know he doesnt have to run for Congress. But he worries that too many career politicians in Washington are up to no good and no one in the race can keep them in check.

If I felt there was a true conservative in the race right now, I wouldnt be here right now, he said. I would be out there by my pool having an iced tea.

It wasnt always the lap of luxury for Maes. He grew up sleeping in a truck trailer, working construction with his father in Midland. Despite his fathers wishes, he enrolled himself in school. Maes would later be the sole provider for his family after his father deserted him, his mother and his siblings.

He enlisted in the Army and went on to become a Green Beret. After retiring from the military, Maes became a top executive at Dell Inc. and Brinks Home Security.

Maes has almost a singular focus: immigration. He has pledged to build Trumps wall and close loopholes in the immigration system, which includes cracking down on people and companies who abuse visas.

We don't track our visas coming in, he said. We need to make sure we're tracking that. Companies right now already have enough visa authorizations.

Business leaders have for several years complained that they dont have enough workers. When asked about this in an interview, Maes sidestepped.

We got to make sure that when we have jobs, that were requiring visas, that were reaching out and making sure we dont have qualified Americans first, he said.

Chaparalas disposition is generally well sunny. At forums, she leaves the crowd in stitches with one-liners. She makes her opponents blush.

We know who Miss Congeniality is, a moderator said at the Grapevine forum.

But nothing outrages the real estate agent more than The Squad, a group of four first-term Democratic congresswomen of color, including Minnesotas Ilhan Omar.

Chaparala, like Omar, is a naturalized American. But Chaparala sees Omar, her Democratic colleagues and the policies they support as a threat to America.

I hate socialism, she said. And right now, the country is going toward socialism.

Chaparalas admiration for American capitalism and limited government is greatly influenced by the dysfunction she experienced in India, specifically around the death of her mother and the estate she left her children. She worries a leftward shift to create a bigger government like the one in India would impose undue burdens on citizens and lead to more corruption.

In fact, if Chaparala is elected, she plans to sponsor zero legislation, saying that any new law would be an infringement on God-given rights.

However, she also pledged to be a reliable vote for Trumps agenda, especially on immigration. She said a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants already in the country is not an option.

It just feels that it's unfair to me and my family, she said.

Fegan sees his lack of experience as a virtue.

I might be young, the 25-year-old said in an interview. But I havent been tainted by the establishment.

If elected, Fegan could be the youngest member of Congress in 2021, and one of the youngest elected in modern history.

Fegan said he can help recruit a new crop of conservatives and reverse the number of young people who have a favorable impression of socialism.

Unlike many of his opponents, Fegan wants to expand the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country each year as part of a reform package.

Legal immigrants are one of the best things ever, he said. Theyre passionate, they worked hard to become a citizen. And then want to give back as much as they can, and its just inspirational to see them come over here they actually have freedom. They dont have to fear for their life, and they can work and build the economy with us.

Fegan told the crowd in Grapevine that hes already working on legislation to limit abortion access and protect gun rights.

Liverman considers himself the peoples candidate. Unlike his opponents who paid a filing fee to run in the primary, Liverman gathered enough signatures on a petition to get on the ballot.

I was vetted by people who would or would not grant me their signature, he said. These other candidates that are running, all they did was write a check. They vetted themselves and wrote a check. And I dont think that that is justice to the voter.

Liverman holds most of the traditional conservative positions: lower taxes, smaller government, pro-Second Amendment. However, he said at the forum that he would support the federal government decriminalizing marijuana and he declined to denounce socialism wholly, citing Social Security.

Livermans run for Congress is inspired by his daughter.

I don't want to stand back and sit in the background and not try to at least implement some change that I think would be better for her generation, he said.

And Liverman hopes to return civility and respect to Congress.

Nobody talks to each other, he said. You know if you want other people to treat you the way that you want to be treated, you got to be able to respect people.

When pressed for a Democrat he respected or could work with, Liverman couldnt name one.

Unlike many of his other opponents, Fegan wants to expand the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country each year as part of immigration reform.

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Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 7:56 pm

Senate Republican sources expect President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE to withdraw his nomination of Judy Shelton to serve on the Federal Reserve Board following bipartisan resistance on Capitol Hill.

The White House has not made a final decision, since Trump would first need to sign off on the reversal, but Republican sources say it would be desirable for her to withdraw from consideration and that her nomination is trending in that direction.

Shes being pulled, said a Republican senator.

SenateGOP aides have indicated to colleagues privately that they expect Shelton to withdraw, according to one Senate aide familiar with the discussions.

If Shelton pulls out, she would would be Trump's third Fednominee derailed by Senate Republican opposition, and the fifth overall, counting informal picks as well.

GOP senators previously quashed Trump's selections of entrepreneur Herman CainHerman CainOn The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline The Hill's Morning Report AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee MORE and conservative commentatorStephen MooreStephen MooreTrump administration weighing tax incentive for US households to invest in stock market On The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline The Hill's Morning Report AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE for the Fed in 2019 before the president could formally nominate them.

The White House press office on Thursday afternoon, however, pushed back on talk that Sheltons nomination is doomed.

The nomination of Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller are not being pulled. Both were in front of the Banking Committee today and the White House expects both to be confirmed by the Senate to the Federal Reserve, the White House said in a statement.

Trump has also tapped Christopher Waller, the research director of the St. Louis Fed, to serve as a Fed board member.

Shelton has taken bipartisan criticism over a 2009 op-ed in which she urged the United States to return to the gold standard, a policy that was abandoned by President Nixon in the early 1970s.

Her biggest backers for the Fed post are Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE. But beyond Trump and Kudlow, her support within the administration is thin, according to a Senate aide briefed on the nomination.

Kudlow was also astrong supporter for Moores nomination, which the White House withdrew last year after hitting robust GOP resistance on Capitol Hill.

Shelton, a former Trump campaign adviser, was nominated to the Fed in January after the president first announced his intent to appoint her in July.

Senate Republicans on the Banking Committee were not impressed with her performance at a confirmation hearing Thursday morning, which senators said would be an important test for her nomination.

Lawmakers from both parties criticized her at the hearing for supporting the gold standard, reversing her views on interest rates after Trump's election and defending the president's attacks on the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell.

I don't claim to be in the mainstream of economists, Shelton said in her defense.

She vowed to strengthen the discussion and work closelywith the Fed's leaders.

Asked to rate Sheltons performance Thursday, Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Republicans expect Trump to pull controversial Fed nominee | Inside Judy Shelton's confirmation hearing | Trump extends emergency declaration at border Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee Pentagon transferring .8 billion to border wall MORE (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Banking Committee, replied tersely: She performed.

I have a lot of concerns, especially even after the hearing. Im thinking about it, talking to some of my colleagues, he said.

Shelby said Sheltons unorthodox views on economic and monetary policy are among his primary concerns.

Im not satisfied that shes mainstream at the moment, he said. Id like to support her. Id like to support the presidents nominees. I havent always done that. I think the Fed should be independent and we should have mainstream people on there, and I dont think shes a mainstream economist, Shelby told reporters.

Shelby, however, declined to say how he would vote or speculate on what would happen to Sheltons nomination.

Asked when the nominee might receive a confirmation vote, Shelby said, I dont know.

Republicans control 15 seats on the Banking Committee, while Democrats control 13.

If two GOP lawmakers vote against Shelton,her nomination will be defeated in committee.

So far, Shelby and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) have raised serious concerns with her nomination. A third member of the panel, Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), is undecided.

Toomey on Thursday warned that Sheltons advocacy for cutting interest rates to prevent the dollar from strengthening any further, which could hurt exports, is a risky strategy.

Thats a very, very dangerous path to go down. This beggar-thy-neighbor mutual currency devaluation is not in our interest, and it is not in the mandate of the Fed to pursue it, Toomey said.

Other Republican senators even lawmakers not on the Banking Committee have raised concerns about Sheltons views.

I share Sen. Shelbys concern, said Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsKobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee Celebrating and expanding upon five years of the ABLE Act MORE (Kan.), when asked about the prospect of returning to the gold standard.

Shelby on Wednesday said returning to the gold standard is kind of like the barter system.

Hard to get out of a recession with that, he said. Not enough gold in the world. Our [gross domestic product] GDP is worth so much more than gold.

In addition to derailing Cain and Moore before they could be nominated, Senate Republicans spiked two of Trumps other Fed nominees.

Republican lawmakers did not advance the 2017 nomination of former Carnegie Mellon economics professor Marvin Goodfriend after he faced intense scrutinyduring his confirmation hearing.

His nomination expired in 2018 and was not renewed by Trump before Goodfriend died of cancer in December 2019.

Republican senators also rejected Trump's choice of former Fed research director Nellie Liang, a Democrat who was integral to the post-crisis bank regulatory regime often criticized by Republicans.

Moore told The Hill in an interview that nominees who have unorthodox economic views face an uphill battle to win Senate confirmation.

"There is a bias at the Fed against anyone who thinks out of the box. I find that to be so troubling," he said."Whether you agree or disagree with Judys position, its healthy to have people that dont just toe the orthodox line on monetary policy."

Trump announced in May that he would not follow through on his intention to put Moore on the Fed after it became clear he did not have enough votes to win confirmation.

Moore was criticized for writing that it would be dangerous for women to earn more than men, among other controversial statements.

Jordain Carney and Brett Samuels contributed.

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The Republican Party Is Not Dying – National Review

Posted: at 7:56 pm

President Donald Trump with Congressional Republicans on the South Lawn of the White House, December 20, 2017.(Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Well, probably not.

As long as Ive been paying attention to politics so through roughly three Republican administrations and a number of GOP wave elections experts have been portending the end of the GOP. If its not the partys retrograde views then its the shrinking numbers of rural voters or increasing number of immigrants or Donald Trump is finally going to put it out of its misery.

Politics doesnt work that neatly. Voters are unpredictable. Events are unpredictable. The opposition is unpredictable. In 2008, the Republican Party was tired and beaten. By 2010 it was reborn. A new Gallup poll, for example, finds that while a majority of Americans say theyd vote for black, Catholic, Hispanic, atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, female, gay, or lesbian candidate, they would not vote for a socialist. Democrats might nominate one of those this year and change the trajectory of politics again. We dont know.

I was reminded of this reality when I saw this tweet today:

No doubt, GOP registration rolls have shrunk in some places. As I noted recently, though, when the Morning Consult poll tabulated a list of the most popular governors, the top 14 and 18 of the top 20 were Republicans. Those Republicans govern in states that have highly diverse electorates and govern with diverse agendas. All of them have done it during the Trump years. Its pretty clear people can compartmentalize their votes. Its unclear that the GOP is on its last legs.

As Gallup notes, the partisan leanings of Americans hasnt really budged since the 2016 election. Gallup found that 28 percent of Americans identified as Democrat, 28 percent identified as Republican, and 41 percent as independent. When Gallup took the leanings of all voters into consideration, it found that Democrats percentages had remained the same for the past four years, and Republican numbers had only fluctuated between 41 percent or 42 percent since 2012. The GOP percentage has remained between 42 percent and 44 percent since 1991, actually. Most polls show similar results.

People waiting around for the GOP to die are probably going to be waiting a long time.

(H/t to Varad Mehta)

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Tennessee Republican bids to classify CNN and Washington Post as ‘fake news’ – The Guardian

Posted: at 7:56 pm

A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced an amendment to a resolution that would recognize CNN and the Washington Post as fake news that is part of the media wing of the Democratic party.

The amendment read: We recognize that fake news outlets suggest ideas without directly making accusations so that they can claim innocence from their ivory towers.

Republican state representative Micah Van Huss of Jonesboro introduced the measure Tuesday at the states capital. According to local station WREG, it amends a previous joint house resolution filed last month.

The resolution cites instances throughout 2019 in which the Post staff or CNN personalities referred to Donald Trumps supporters as a cult or cult-like.

It said: We condemn them for denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood.

Lawmakers behind the resolution also criticized the notion of a spell Trump has cast on the Republican party as Washington Post editor, Marc Fisher, suggested in an October editorial.

The resolution will now be debated within the state houses subcommittee on sentencing and protections before a vote is scheduled.

Media outlets have received increasing criticism from conservatives and Trump followers over their coverage. CNN recently earned the presidents ire after host Don Lemon, along with guests, criticised Trump, Mike Pompeo and what they called an administration defined by ignorance of the world. One of the guests said Pompeo was playing to [the Republican] base.

Trump tweeted his disapproval of the segment.

Huss alluded to the segment when discussing the goal of the resolution on a local, conservative podcast. He said it mocked Trump supporters for being rude, hayseed hicks.

My constituents are tired of these elitists in the media for denigrating them, Van Huss said in the podcast. Theyre tired of Republicans who dont fight.

While the resolution currently has 13 co-sponsors, some fellow Republican lawmakers have called it unnecessary and questioned its purpose.

I have to answer to [my district], Republican state representative John Crawford told local station WCYB. I think the 1st district would rather see me working on things that would bring jobs.

According to polling data, Tennesseans voted for Donald Trump by an overwhelming majority in the 2016 US presidential election.

Huss is no stranger to sponsoring controversial bills. Earlier this month, he introduced legislation that would allow local governments to count fetuses, or what he called unborn children, into proportional state funding allocations.

The Guardian has contacted Van Husss office for comment.

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Washington-Based Republican Partnership Supports Non-Sitting Candidate In Iowa Race For First Time – 1380 KCIM

Posted: at 7:56 pm

President and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership for the past 22 years, Sarah Chamberlain, says her Washington, D.C.-based organization is run by business people for the betterment of the Republican Party.

Although none of the current legislators from Iowa are aligned with the partnership, Chamberlain says they are supporting three in the upcoming election. They have endorsed Senator, Joni Ernst, along with former 3rd District Congressman, David Young, who is running again. They are also backing one of the candidates challenging Congressman Steve King in the 4th District, Randy Feenstra.

On caucus night in Iowa, there was a straw poll taken on the 4th Congressional District race. King came out of that polling with more than 50 percent support from Carroll County voters. Chamberlain says she believes name recognition has played a key role in that outcome.

She says to be successful, the other candidates will have to highlight those points she just made. Feenstra will definitely be focusing on several specific areas and, Chamberlain says, in raising funds to support his campaign.

The Republican Main Street Partnership support candidates by providing $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 for the general. They also have a super PAC (Political Action Committee), assisting with their ground games along with market targeting online, television and radio. Carroll Broadcasting will bring you more from Chamberlain in upcoming newscasts with her take on the caucus issues faced in Iowa and the impeachment acquittal.

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Washington-Based Republican Partnership Supports Non-Sitting Candidate In Iowa Race For First Time - 1380 KCIM

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With Republicans, the best is yet to come – Youngstown Vindicator

Posted: at 7:56 pm

DEAR EDITOR:

The stark contrast in what we have seen over the last few weeks from Republicans and Democrats is a clear tale of two parties.

The Republican Party is uniting behind President Trumps Promises Made. Promises Kept agenda, and it is paying off in a big way. During his State of the Union address, the president spoke to the American people about issues that affect them directly. Two Supreme Court justices appointed, two successful trade deals with our three largest trading partners, two terrorists eliminated whose goal it was to kill Americans a perfect recipe for two terms in office for President Donald Trump.

The Democrats response? Nancy Pelosi threw a tantrum and ripped up a speech that was filled with uplifting and inspirational stories of the Great American Comeback.

Unfortunately for our community, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan once again chose to join Pelosi in her petty antics. As President Trump delivered a message of strength, unity and the Great American Comeback, Rep. Ryan chose to turn his back on the American people and join Nancy Pelosi in her games by walking out of the State of the Union.

Pelosi and her socialist Democrats hope to kill our booming economy with higher taxes on the middle class, obsess about undoing the 2016 election and peddle multi-trillion-dollar Washington boondoggles such as the Green New Deal and government-run health care.

Democrats failed in their impeachment sham. The world watched their epic failure at the Iowa caucuses, and by continuing to ignore everyday Americans and submit to the socialist wing of their party, they will most certainly fail in November.

Despite Democrats efforts, President Trump is keeping his promises, and Americans are thriving. For the Republican Party, Democrats who are willing to work with our president, and the American people: the best is certainly yet to come.

CHRISTINA M. HAGAN

Alliance

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With Republicans, the best is yet to come - Youngstown Vindicator

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Republicans Think President Trump Had Every Right To Fire Government Officials Who Testified Against Him – BuzzFeed News

Posted: at 7:56 pm

WASHINGTON Senate Republicans who voted to acquit President Donald Trump of impeachment charges last week said that its fine that he fired government personnel who testified against him during the Houses investigation.

Days after the Republican-controlled Senate voted to acquit Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges, the president fired National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. The Purple Heart recipient had testified before Congress that the presidents July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had threatened US national security.

Shortly after, Trump removed Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, from his post. Sondland who was involved in the scheme to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on Trumps political opponent, Joe Biden, flipped on the president during the House impeachment inquiry and testified that Trump did participate in a quid pro quo.

Republicans justified the presidents actions late Monday, with many of them claiming the president had every right to fire the men.

Yeah, I think he did the right thing, said Sen. Jim Inhofe. People were supposed to have loyalty. Obviously they didnt.

According to the Department of Defense, members of the military are free to make complaints against government officials without retaliation. Broader protection for government employees are outlined in the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Sen. Todd Young of Indiana told reporters the president has sole authority to hire and fire. when asked about the abrupt firing of Vindman. He added, Its the presidents prerogative.

Trump defended the firings in a series of tweets Saturday morning and in doing so criticized Vindmans work performance and called him very insubordinate.

The president has every right to decide who serves in the executive branch of jobs, Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters Monday. I don't have a problem with it at all.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to Vindmans firing in a tweet Friday evening. This is not a sign of strength, it only shows president Trumps weakness, Schumer wrote.

The New York senator went further and penned a letter to the Department of Defenses acting inspector general, Glenn Fine, and 73 other inspector generals requesting the agency investigate retaliation against those who spoke to presidential misconduct during the impeachment inquiry.

Regrettably, these rights are now being challenged like never before, creating a chilling effect among those who, in previous administrations, may have come forward to expose abuses of power, Schumer wrote.

Republicans, however, refuted any suggestion the president acted in retaliation. At least one Republican likened the presidents governing style to his approach to business.

The style of how he does things, you know, he's different in that sense, said Sen. Mike Braun. I like how he's, you know, trying to shake things up. When it comes to individuals that aren't on board. I think that the president has a right to have people working for him that are pulling the same way.

The New York Times reported that a group of Republican senators, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin unsuccessfully tried to convince Trump not to fire Sondland. But the former foreign service agent was removed from his post anyway.

I just wanted him to leave with dignity, Johnson told reporters Monday.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, whose key vote thwarted the possibility of a tie in the vote to allow witnesses during the Senate trial did not break ranks with her Republican colleagues.

The president has the authority, she said, her voice trailing as she disappeared behind elevator doors in the Capitol.

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