Category Archives: Bernie Sanders

Who “Cost” the Election?

I spent Election Day working for the county, greeting voters, putting those voters in one of six lines to make things move more quickly. Our polling place saw about 2200 voters that day, plus 184 absentee ballots. From that one polling place, there is a lot of insight about what went wrong.

The loss was obvious when the tape was run a little past 9, indicating that while Clinton had won the vote, turnout wasn’t high enough and the percentage wasn’t big enough. This ended up being the pattern across both the state of Pennsylvania and the country at large.

First, an anecdote that explains something. The voter who came out from voting grinning ear to ear, proud. Told me that although a lifelong Democrat who had never voted for a Republican, she proudly voted for Donald Trump. Why? “I did all my research because I wanted to be really sure and I think Clinton went bad when she shot all her partners at the Rose Law Firm and then Vince Foster.” When told that never happened, the response was: “Yes it did. I read it on the internet.”

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DNC Statement on Released Emails

“On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email. These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not — and will not — tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates. Individual staffers have also rightfully apologized for their comments, and the DNC is taking appropriate action to ensure it never happens again.

“We are embarking on a convention today that — thanks to the great efforts of Secretary Clinton, her team, Senator Sanders, his team, and the entire Democratic Party — will show a forward-thinking and optimistic vision for America, as compared to the dark and pessimistic vision that the GOP presented last week in Cleveland. Our focus is on electing Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine and Democrats across the country, thanks to Democratic Party that is strong, unified, and poised for victory in November.”

Donna Brazile, Incoming Interim Chair
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Secretary
Andrew Tobias, Treasurer
Raymond Buckley, Vice Chair, ASDC President
Maria Elena Durazo, Vice Chair
Mayor R.T. Rybak, Vice Chair
Henry R. Muñoz III, National Finance Committee Chair

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DNCC Announces Opening Night Program for Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced the program for the opening day of the Democratic National Convention being held in Philadelphia from July 25 to July 28. Additional speakers will continue to be announced throughout the convention. In Philadelphia, Democrats are preparing to lay out the clear stakes in this election – a choice between building walls and tearing people down or an optimistic unifying vision where everyone has a role to play in building our future.

Monday will focus on putting the future of American families front and center and how we’re stronger together when we build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top and when everyone has a chance to live up to their God-given potential.

The program is listed below:

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Too many A-list speakers?

With the news that Mike Bloomberg is going to speak and endorse Clinton on Wednesday night, the Democratic Convention now has a long list of top speakers ready to go: (expected days in parenthesis)

Elizabeth Warren ???
Michelle Obama (Mon)
Bernie Sanders (Mon)
Bill Clinton (Tue)
Biden (Wed)
Tim Kaine (Wed)
Obama (Wed)
Mike Bloomberg (Wed)
Chelsea Clinton (Thu)
Hillary Clinton (Thu)

I think this list contrasts well with the GOP convention speakers, don’t you?

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Delegate Math — Week of June 13

The end is finally here.

On the Republican side, the voting is over and the only delegate selection still to come is the South Dakota state convention starting on June 24.  Depending upon which count you use, Trump has slightly over 1,440 delegates who are bound to him by current Republican Party rules (and another 80 who are officially uncommitted who have pledged to support him).  Of course, every time Trump opens his mouth, some senior figure in the party begins longingly considering the power of the Rules Committee and the Convention to change those rules.  Whether Trump has enough loyal delegates to survive himself is unclear (and it is unlikely that the Republicans would take this extreme step), but Trump is the exact type of candidate who would justify throwing the rules out the window to save the party.

The Democratic side still has a little more work to do.  With the caveat that the count in California is not yet final, Secretary Clinton currently has around 2,180 pledged delegates to 1,797 delegates for Senator Sanders — a clear majority of pledged delegates (even if Sanders wins every delegate still theoretically up for grabs, he would still be approximately 300 delegates behind Secretary Clinton).

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Delegate Math Week of June 6 — Part 2 (California)

As discussed in part 1, the math in both parties has been relentless.  After last night’s results in the U. S. Virgin Islands, the Greenpapers has Clinton only 85 votes short of clinching the nomination in its “soft” count.  Barring a large number of superdelegates endorsing Clinton over the next forty-eight hours, today’s primary in Puerto Rico does not have enough delegates at stake (60 total) to put Clinton over the top, but the states discussed in Part 1 (New Jersey, South Dakota, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Montana) have more than enough delegates to put Clinton over the top.  Sanders is urging the media to remember that superdelegates can change their minds and depart from past practice by not declaring Clinton the nominee unless she wins enough pledged delegates to put her over the top (almost impossible).

With so few contests left, it is all but certain that Clinton will win the pledged delegate count.   Even the attempt to win additional delegates in the later stages of caucus states is not going well.  While the Washington Democratic Party has only posted the names of the delegates elected by the Congressional Districts (not the candidates that they are supporting), they have announced the allocation for the state-wide delegates (which is based on the breakdown of the Congressional District delegates).  Based on that allocation, Clinton won between 17 and 19 delegates at the Congressional District level (post-precinct caucus estimates had her winning 18).    In the other states that have already held first-tier caucuses, there are only 48 delegates still at stake (with Sanders having a 28-20 advantage).    (6-2 in Idaho, 7-8 in Iowa, and 15-10 in Nebraska).  Gaining more than five delegates from these states is unlikely, and adding it to the potential gain of 1 in Washington, Clinton would still have a 261 delegate lead heading into Puerto Rico.  Since for reasons discussed previously, Sanders is probably going to have a net loss of delegates between Puerto Rico and the other states on Tuesday, Sander’s outside hope of significantly closing that gap come down to California.

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Delegate Math Week of June 6 (Part 1)

The week of June 6 marks the end of the Republican primary season and is the next to last week of primaries for the Democrats.  Given the sheer size of California, I will leave that state for its own post.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is likely to go over 1,237 bound delegates this week.  (He is currently ninety-eight bound delegates short of that number.  Depending upon the site doing the count, he either currently has enough verbal commitments from unbound delegates or is just short of enough to reach that 1,237 number.  There was a time in early April when there appeared to be  a chance to keep Trump short of that number, but his opponents were never able to unite in a coherent strategy (and John Kasich never had enough funding) to target districts and states were Cruz or Kasich could win delegates.

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Delegate Math — Week of May 30th

The primary campaign enters the home stretch.  Depending upon which count you use, Donald Trump either has or is about to clinch the Republican nomination.  (The counts differ in their estimate of how many of the officially “uncommitted” delegates have pledged to support Trump.  Trump is 139 short by the “bound” delegate count.)  Because there are no Republican contests this week, the only thing that can change between now and the next (and final) Republican contests on June 7 will be additional pledges from uncommitted delegates.

This week the action is all on the Democratic side in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  Between now and the Virgin Island’s contest, there will be some minor adjustments as results are certified from the April states and as superdelegates announce their support for one of the candidates.  However, barring a large number of superdelegates endorsing Clinton, the delegates up for stake this week should not be enough to clinch the nomination.  At the present time, Clinton is approximately 100 delegates short of clinching the nomination.

The Virgin Islands contest on June 4 is a little bit unusual.  At the territorial mass meeting, attendees from St. Croix will select three delegates.  Attendees from the other islands will select four delegates.  Assuming that both candidates meet the fifteen percent threshold, St. Croix will almost certainly split 2-1.  The other four delegates will either split 3-1 or 2-2.   As a result, the most likely outcomes are either a 5-2 or a 4-3 split (most likely in favor of Clinton).  At this stage of the race, the results in the Virgin Islands will not make much of a difference in the delegate count.  At most the Virgin Islands will play into any “momentum” argument that the Sanders campaign wants to make to the superdelegates.  (That argument is the same reason why Sanders is considering a recount in Kentucky even though such a recount would probably only change one delegate at most.)

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Stopping Donald Trump

The most common question I get is “Can Donald Trump win in November?” The answer is yes. This is my fifth rewrite of this post because I don’t seem able to get my head around it myself. Plus, I keep getting sidetracked by why he needs to be stopped. So let’s start with how he can win, and then on to how.

The Donald certainly has a path to victory. First, while this year is a year unlike any other in American electoral history, the stats say that the incumbent party does not hold the White House for a third term. Second, he has amassed more Republican primary votes than any other Republican, and the contests aren’t over yet. The corollary is that Republican turnout is up 64% so far, while Democratic turnout is down 17%.  There are also a lot of troubling signs relative to Trump’s match-ups with the Democrats. And most importantly, there’s the platform on which he’s run. 

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Delegate Math — Weeks of May 16 and May 23

As this week’s primaries showed, with Kasich and Cruz out, it’s only a matter of time until Trump gets to 1,237 delegates.  There are still pitfalls ahead for Trump, but those pitfalls are about the convention going rogue on the platform and the vice-presidential pick.  Whether that happens depends upon how much Trump wants to alter the 2012 platform (which is hard to tell given how vague Trump’s actual positions are) and whether Trump can find an acceptable vice-presidential candidate.   Over the next two week’s the Republicans will have primaries in Oregon (May 17) and Washington (May 24).    Oregon allocates its twenty-eight delegates proportionally with no winner-take-all provision; so Cruz and Kasich should get some delegates, but Trump should take twenty or more delegates.  Washington allocates thirty delegates by congressional district and fourteen delegates state-wide.    Given that Washington has a twenty percent threshold for winning delegates, Trump is likely to get all forty-four.   Including the uncommitted delegates who have pledged to support Trump, Washington should put Trump unofficially over the top.

For the Democratic Party, the next two weeks consists of two primaries (Oregon and Kentucky on May 17), the Nebraska county conventions spread out over the two weeks, the Washington Congressional District conventions on May 21, and the Wyoming state convention on May 28.

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