Catching Up

I haven’t posted in several weeks as I ended up getting actual Influenza A (and yes, I took the vaccine). I’m not saying it was rough, but I didn’t even care that there were primaries and caucuses because I couldn’t raise my head. For those of you who know me personally, you’ll understand how low I was when I mention that for more than two weeks, I didn’t have even a sip of coffee.

There is so much to catch up on. First, Bernie is on a roll, and I have received a lot of emails and texts asking whether or not he can actually get the nomination. The answer is a full maybe. First off, those pledged delegates from the caucus states can move, as they did last Saturday as the process moves from election day to the county, district and state conventions. The split in Nevada has so far moved from 20 – 15 Clinton to 18 – 17 Clinton, but there are 8 additional delegates to allocate and the State convention in May. Maine is another state that could reallocate delegates. Will it be enough? Amazingly, it will depend on places like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and California which are normally non-starters in the primary race.

While everyone (including DCW) looks at the full delegate total, including Super Delegates, my math is a little different.

Back in 2008, I had an opportunity to speak with Clinton delegates after it was obvious that Obama would get the nomination and ask if they’d be switching their votes. Some, like Ed Rendell, said “Nope, I’m going to dance with the one that brung me.” (Yes, that’s a real quote.) Others were not so sure as it came closer to the convention. So my thinking is that a Super Delegate may not be fully committed until that final floor count.

Second, some states are real surprises this year. Take Maryland, where Chris Van Hollen was a shoo-in for Barbara Mikulski’s Senate seat, it now looks like Donna Edwards might well win the primary.  I’m not clear on whether her voters will be voting all in for her, or against the establishment so very represented by Chris. Could it make a difference in the presidential primary? Maybe.

New York should be Hillary Clinton’s to lose. It’s been getting nasty the past few days, and the debate on the 14th may well sway voters. Of interest to me in that race is that when it came time to file petitions, the requirement was 5,000 signatures, and Bernie took 85,000 with no campaign workers on the ground, that was all grass roots. A lot of those folks aren’t on the rolls used by VogteBuilder and the other databases used by the party to reach out to voters. A lot of them are not on the lists used by the polling organizations to call voters. Could that make a difference in the upstate college town? The rust-belt part of NY? Maybe. We won’t know until the 19th.

Here in Pennsylvania, I see the Berniebots, and I haven’t seen the Clinton people. I haven’t received a single piece of mail, nor a door lit drop from the Clinton campaign, but I have from the Sanders campaign. Those things should appear by virtue of my registration, but not so far. My email inbox is full, but that’s because I subscribe.

I’m fascinated here in Pennsylvania by the number of contested races for the primary. I will be putting up a separate article later today on the Senate primary, which is amazing for the support for Katie McGinty, which is all primary driven, but the polling which indicates that Joe Sestak has a base of support independent of the Democratic establishment. John Fetterman lacks name recognition and money but is still pulling polling from both of the leaders. How that race turns out may well also have an huge impact on the presidential outcome. It will depend a lot on the new registrations, which I have not dug into as of yet.

There is also a primary for the position of Attorney General. Hard fought, but that outcome is looking like Josh Shapiro will take it.

And let’s not forget the House. There are some great candidates throughout the country that stand legitimate chances in November.  High on my list is Tim Canova in the Democratic primary against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Whichever Democrat wins the primary will hold the seat in November, but Tim is antithetical to Debbie — kinda sorta the Democratic version of Eric Cantor vs Dave Brat and we know how that turned out. If actual progressives do well nationwide, it’s a game changer in terms of legislation. Here in my little part of the world, we’ve got a strong Congressional candidate in Mike Parrish, and I’ll have a post up on him on Monday. That’s a Republican seat we can actually win.

A final note on the GOP presidential race: I’ve been involved in politics for more than 50 years, I’ve got a degree in Political Science, and I consider myself an informed political person. I have NEVER seen a race where a major party works publicly against the front runner. Candidates battle it out, but a slice of the party saying “Dump Trump”? This is a first. It cost The Donald Wisconsin, and may well cause him to go to Cleveland s few dozen delegates short. From a strictly Democratic perspective, this is fantastic, but from a political science perspective it is of great concern. Back in 2009 we here at DCW (along with many others) foretold the implosion of the GOP, and the real possibility that the party would fracture into two completely separate parties.

Don’t get me wrong: Donald Trump is the logical outcome of the teabagger-business split of the GOP. He embraces the anti-government stance of the teabag side, and amazingly marries it to a populist spin on business, indicating that better trade policies could increase employment. And the GOP is getting EXACTLY what it deserves. If they hand the nomination to Ted Cruz because he works the delegates at the state level, it’s survivable. Trump’s people stay home, the Democrats hold the White House, and they’ll regroup. But if the nomination goes to anyone else, in violation of existing GOP convention rules (I’m talking to YOU 40 (b)) the party will be irrevocably broken. It will be out there for all to see that a few power brokers own the GOP in totality. And there will be several third parties endeavoring to form and grow. It’s not that easy to be a legitimate third party with ballot access – but as that process gets underway we potentially lose being the democratic republic we are, and become more parliamentary in nature. Not the American system envisaged by the Founding Fathers.

Since I started blogging here eight years ago, I’ve consistently told you four things:

  • Fingers, nails, fingers, fingers, fingers.
  • Vote! Bring your friends and family.
  • Learn the state capitals.
  • America is the only country in the world, in all of history, with free scheduled elections along with the bloodless transfer of power.

That last one has always been implicitly dependent on a two party system. And 2016 has the potential to rip that to shreds. Remember, if we become parliamentary, we lose our scheduled elections to called elections, which changes everything.

So those are my initial thoughts after being down for the count. What have you been thinking about?


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