Saturday, December 19, 2015

Special Post about the Democratic Presidential Debate set for tonight and the Sanders Campaign / DNC Mail List Hacking Incident.



I planned to not do any more posts in this blog until after January 1. My feeling is that not many people, including most voters in the first-up state, Iowa which holds it's party caucuses on Monday night, February 1 2016, is going to pay attention to Presidential nominating politics until after January 1.

The Democrats are holding a President Debate tonight on ABC tonight at 8:00 PM from New Hampshire. This debate was not generating as much interest as the Republican debate last week since the Democrats do not have the entertaining Donald Trump in the lead in a battle with 8 other candidates on stage with all the yelling and insults that this entails.  The three Democrats are remarkably civil to each other -- and comparatively boring as a result.  In addition, Hillary Clinton maintains a large 25% national lead over her closest competitor, independent Social Democrat Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, that has fairly remained steady since November 1.

We have an issue now. In case you have not been following the national media, The Bernie Sanders campaign was caught copying confidential Hillary Clinton campaign get-out-the-vote lists in Iowa from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters. All campaigns are allowed to rent and use Democratic voter lists in every state. There was a firewall opening, and the head Database manager at the Sanders campaign was caught copying 24 pages of Clinton campaign lists. He has since been fired. The DNC) , which is run by a big Clinton supporter, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (from my neighboring Palm Beach County Congressional District), suspended Sanders access to the lists for about 24 hours yesterday. The Sanders campaign sued the DNC and was able to claim a victory -- the DNC backed down and allowed access to Sanders late last night. The Clinton campaign is crying foul, and this is bound to result in some fireworks tonight.


However, There are some things that make no sense here: First of all, this is valuable campaign data. Why is the Clinton campaign-- and the DNC- allowing it to be so vulnerable on an open server? And no, conspiracy theories do not make sense. Stupidity does. The Iowa caucuses are all about getting out your vote -- to sit in someone's living room, or a church or another location where the party caucus is being held to hang around for at least two hours in the dead of winter to form "circles" to elect candidates to go to county party events, which then elect delegates to go to a state event, and so forth. It is deliberately designed to be complicated with frequently confusing results (Santorum won the Republican won last time but we did not know about until the following month) and not like a primary -- which New Hampshire will have the first of by tradition since 1952 -- and by their own state law. The Iowa caucus count is close, and Bernie can still win Iowa with a strong get out the vote effort. If Bernie can win both Iowa and New Hampshire, he can challenge Hillary for the nomination. Clinton is taking Iowa very seriously -- remember, she was favored to get the Democratic nomination before President Obama the caucus in 2008. What I cannot figure out is why the heck has the Clinton campaign allowed such valuable data to be sitting on a DNC server in the first place -- if it can be picked out so easily. And I can assure you that if the Sanders campaign staff was able to get it easy when a firewall was down, a committed hacking concern can figure out a way of getting at this data with a bit of encryption hacking.

 Second Point -- if the Sanders campaign did nothing wrong, why was the head Database guy fired -- especially if their story is that he should be commended for bringing the atrocious security procedures for voter intentions to the DNC's attention?

Third Point -- if seems that a contract or letter of agreement was signed by all candidates that they will respect the integrity of the data under all circumstances (I read this) -- and not do inappropriate things with data; this agreement also laid out "penalties" such as withholding list access if a deliberate breach of data was made. If such a clause was not in there -- as it would be for just any any major list rental -- the DNC is NOT doing a very good job. If the Sanders campaign has violated this agreement, then they should be apologetic as heck and not trying to score "points" with their own supporters and the media over this.




Fourth the DNC is populated by Clinton supporters -- but at this point, their big fear is not that Bernie will get the nomination, but that his supporters will either stay at home or vote for some far left third party candidate since they hate Hillary so much -- like Ralph Nader. If it is true that the DNC under Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who, comes across as party royalty a bit much) released this information in an effort to embarrass the Sanders campaign, it had to be the most stupid move I have seen in awhile. Why bring attention to the fact that the DNC is so committed to Hillary?

 Fifth, I am sure letting the Sanders campaign have access to their own lists after a one-day "slapdown" would have come anyway once the Sanders campaign showed that they destroyed the pirated information (which in essence can never really be destroyed if you use a common screen scraper ), the law suit was good show and gave Bernie a media and campaign victory-- even though this was far from an altruistic incident on their parts. How is the Sanders campaign managing to play this incident to their great advantage?

Sixth, This entire incident is a comedy of errors which has backfired on the DNC, has let the Sanders campaign (rather remarkably in fact) play the role victim to their own supporters at least , and has embarrassed the Clinton campaign by appearing to be dupes who are in control of what should be an impartial national committee. Everyone involved may want to get rid of this as quickly as possible -- and this includes the Sanders campaign which does not want to irritate potential Clinton caucus goers to actually show up and caucus at some living room in town what could be a cold and icy night on Tuesday, February 1 -- which is going to be what happens if this issue does not die out and if the Clinton supporters feel dumped on by the Sanderistas just as they do by Trey Gowdy's Republican "Benghazi" committee. Will this incident backfire and benefit Hillary Clinton at the end?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

There Is Only One Reason To Watch the Republican Presidential Debate Tonight -- Cruz vs. Trump. Everything Else is a Sideshow

Trump vs. Cruz -  Let's see if The Donald can make him angry!

The Republican Presidential debate on CNN Tonight should be highly entertaining for one reason -- to watch the two Republican front runners, Donald Trump and Far-Right Texas Senator Ted Cruz go at it with each other. These two are the best speakers and tacticians of all the candidates even though their styles are very different. In fact, I expect that Donald Trump will do his best to goad Cruz into directly saying anything nasty about him or his policies directly, and for Cruz to continue to sweet talk his way into the lead by convince Trump supporters that he adores Trump and is truly on his side.

Cruz'es strategy all long has been to present himself as the candidate for Trump supporters if he leaves or looses the race. However, except for his stand on Muslim travel into the United States (no one will support Trump's ban on an entire religion), he is to the right of Trump on just about all social and fiscal issues.

Trump is frightened of Cruz for one reason. Cruz now has a slight lead over Trump in the Iowa caucuses according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, and a large lead according to two recent polls of 10% -- including the important Des Moines Register poll released this past weekend.  Although Trump is well ahead nationally, a big win for Cruz will give him momentum into New Hampshire and, more importantly, South Carolina and the Southern and Western states afterwards.

Having either of these candidates as the presidential nominee remains a nightmare scenario for establishment "country club" Republicans.  Cruz is perhaps the most disliked Senator among other Senators in his own party and in his party leadership due to his confrontational record with them over the past four years.

This will be the last Republican debate for 2015. The next one is set for January 14, 2016. This will be my last post for this year unless something extraordinary happens in the next 16 days.



From Real Clear Politics, December 15, 2015







Saturday, December 5, 2015

Trump Continues to Rise -- And the Republican Establishment and Political Experts are Still in Denial

The next President of the United States?  Its certainly possible!

Donald Trump continues to rise. He is now breaking his all time high of  31% in the current Real Clear Politics average of respected polls.  The most recent poll, the respected CNN has Trump with 36% support of expected Republican primary and caucus voters.

His former close rival, Ben Carson, is clearly on a decline.

Two right wing Senators, right-wing Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are fighting for second place but  have yet to crack 15% support.

Jeb Bush, the early front runner, campaign is essentially dead -- unless he can pull out at least a second place finish in the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary which are less than two months away.

The Republican Party still appears to be in denial.  There is no "establishment Republican" effort to combat Trump -- at least not yet.

Political pundits such as Nate Silver from 538, who I highly respect, still does not think Trump has any realistic chance of getting the nomination.

Although I will not yet predict that Donald Trump is going to end up with the Republican nomination, the odds increase every day.  The Republican field is still very crowded, and his current rate of support can have him win over 80% of every caucus and primary state -- if it holds.

Here are my predictions concerning Donald Trump:

1. If Trump's support grows to a consistent 40% in polls averages, and if he can win Iowa and New Hampshire, his odds of becoming the Republican nominee will rise to 50%.   He still may face a challenge from Rubio, Cruz, or even a late entry like George Romney

2. If Trump's support declines to 25% of the vote in the next 60 days, and if he loses Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign will quickly end.  I see his support as volatile and dependent on his "winner
 image.

3. Here is the big caveat - if Trump feels that his campaign has been destroyed unfairly by the Republican Establishment, he will either run as a third party candidate -- or sit out the election. He could conceivably backhandedly endorse Hillary Clinton by saying "well, as far as I am concerned she is as good as (whoever the Republicans nominate).  Don't put this past him.

Whatever the case, I will continue to say what I have said here for the past two months -- as things stand now, Donald Trump is the leader for the Republican nomination for President. I am not willing to predict he will be the nominee however. Trump's potential opposition has yet to seriously stir.

Deal with it!  Trump is not going away!  (imagine this said with Trump's Queens New York accent).

My next post will be before the December 15 Republican debate -- unless something unexpected happens!


From Real Clear Politics 12/5/15

Sunday, November 29, 2015

7 Wildcard Events That Can Completely Upend the 2016 Election Predictions


A wildcard in politics is a relatively unexpected event that can completely upend expected election results. Americans also call this an " October Surprise" since most elections (not primaries) take place the first Tuesday in November.

Here are 7 "wildcards" that can completely turn predictions made about the 2016 Presidential Elections on their heads. These can all potentially happen, although the probability is seen as low today:

1. Hillary Clinton's campaign can be fatally stopped by an indictment of Hillary herself, or members of her top staff, for improperly handling classified information on her email server. The FBI is investigating this now. The Clinton Foundation can also be charged with improper usage of funds and fund raising itself. The reasons why an indictment is not probable on a Federal Level is that the Obama Administration would have to concur (the Justice Department), and this is seen as not very likely.

2. Donald Trump can run for President as an independent third party candidate.  This could happen if Trump starts losing caucus and primary elections in 2016 and decides that the Republican Party establishment is conspiring against him. Trump has signed a pledge indicating he will not do this, but this would not apply if he decides he is being treated unfairly. Note that it is unlikely that Trump could get on the ballot in all 50 states as an independent candidate at this late date.

3. Health concerns.  Any candidate over 65 years old is subject to possible health concerns that could force an end to their candidacy. Hillary Clinton is 68 years old, Donald Trump is 69. and Bernie Sanders is 74.  If any of these candidates were to withdraw from the primary election, it would completely upend election predictions.

4. The Economy: A stock market crash or severe downturn in the economy would favor not only the Presidency, but one-party Republican rule after the 2016 elections.

5. A Security Issue:  For example, a hot war breaking out in the Middle East, or a hot war in Europe between Russia and Turkey, or a 9/11 type attack on U.S. soil are bound to favor both Hillary Clinton and security-minded and experiences Republican candidates.

6. Sex Scandals:  These are always possible. in 2012, Herman Cain, a tea party favorite was #1 in the polls until admission of a possible affair ran him out of the race. This is bound the impact the Republican race more than the Democratic race simply because there are so many more candidates involved.

 and finally,

7.  A completely unexpected wild card. Some event coming up, or news about a past event erupts and totally changes politics as we know it. How about a supervolcano eruption at Yellowstone National Park causing an environmental crisis?  It could happen, although it is unlikely.

This is why making election predictions is so difficult one year in advance!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Elections Heat Up -- The Iowa Caucuses are 9 Weeks Away. It's Do or Die for Bernie Sanders and Several Republicans


The 2016 Presidential Election is moving into a more serious stage. The first voters will be heard during caucuses in the heartland state of Iowa on Monday night, February 1, which is 9 weeks away from this Monday.

Although many voters are not paying attention to the elections, the caucus goers in Iowa are a unique bunch -- and take their first - in - the- nation status very seriously.

What is a caucus?   A caucus is not a primary -- in which voters show up at their local election site and vote for a Democratic or Republican Presidential candidate. The first primary will be on week later, in New Hampshire, on February 9. Caucuses are held in local Democratic or Republican members homes, or public gathering places. Caucus goers decide on who will be selected to a county, and then a state party convention based on their support of a Presidential candidate. If this all sounds complicated, it is meant to be -- simply because New Hampshire will not tolerate any state holding a presidential primary before they do. The first "modern" New Hampshire primary was held in 1952, has always been first in the nation, and is the little New England state's claim to fame - they are not going to give up its first in the nation status ever -- and even have a law enshrined to that effect.

The Iowa caucus, however, is the first indicator of how actual voters feel about candidates that is not simply based on a poll. This is why it's important.

_________________

Why is the Democratic caucus important?

From Real Clear Politics 11/26/15

A victory in Iowa is crucial for Bernie Sanders if he is to stay competitive against the presumed winner of the nomination, Hillary Clinton.  Bernie is picked to win the New Hampshire primary on February 9 -- primarily because he is from the neighboring state of Vermont, is well known there, and appeals to upscale liberal white voters which New Hampshire (and Iowa) are full of. If Hillary wins in Iowa, and then wins in South Carolina and the Southern States in which she is favored the following weeks, it will make her nomination inevitable. If Bernie Sanders can win in the first two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, it might refire momentum and make him a competitive candidate through the nomination.

Recent polls show Bernie gaining ground against Hillary in Iowa-- check out the average from Real Clear Politics above.
_________________________

Why is the Republican Iowa caucus important?

From Real Clear Politics 11/27/15

The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows a very volatile situation for Republicans.

Donald Trump (in blue) is still favored to win Iowa. If he does not win, his "inevitable" media coverage will suffer, and his own volatile personality will cause major repercussions in coverage of his campaign.

Ted Cruz (in black) - arguably the most right wing Republican in the race, and the one that many Republican Party Congressional members feel is a maverick who who damaged the party with this "take no prisoners" rhetoric in the past, is on the rise and could win the caucuses. He may emerge as the leader in the Republican race if he does.

Dr. Ben Carson (in red) is on the decline. If he fails to to come in as a top tier candidate (the top 3), it may signal the end of the candidacy.

Marco Rubio (in purple) needs to come in as a top 3 candidate in order to stay competitive. Marco is positioning himself as the "establishment" candidate -- but establishment candidates need to win elections in order to become frontrunners.

Jeb Bush (in green) -- the former front runner -- needs to break through his dismal poll ratings in order to stay in the race. Poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire should mark the end of his candidacy.

Polls are subject to rapid change right now - but as things stand now, Iowa may offer surprises to both Democrats who assume Hillary will be the nominee, and Republicans banking on Trump and Carson -- we will see how all this works out in 9 weeks.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bernie Sanders for President? He Better Drop "Socialist" to Stand a Chance




Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who I actually thinks stands a chance (but not a good one)  of beating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination only if he can the first two states -- the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary in February 2016,  is giving a speech today on what it means to be a Democratic Socialist. Mr. Sanders is a self proclaimed Socialist / Independent Senator.

Time Magazine has run a poll for the past 70 years on what Americans will and will not tolerate in their picks for President. Generic "Socialist" has never done very well. In the latest poll this year. fully 50% of Americans have said they will not vote for a Socialist candidate for President. Mr. Sanders needs to separate himself from the term as deftly from this term is he is to be be seen as a serious candidate

One thing interesting is Mr. Sanders religion -- he is Jewish and admits being so, although he proclaims he is "not particularly religious". This is OK with American voters -- being Jewish is only opposed by 7% of voters who are not likely to vote Democratic anyway. Catholicism, Mainline Protestantism (not evangelical or Mormon), and Judaism are accepted by over 90% of American voters.

However, here is a warning to Mr. Sanders -- although it is possible to be a Jewish atheist (according to one recent poll fully half of American Jews have doubts about the existence of God), Mr. Sanders should not discuss religion if indeed this is his view -- 40% of Americans will not vote for an atheist for President. Unlike Republicans, Democrats do not like to discuss religion in primary debates -- so he is off the hook with this one until now.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There Is A 40% Chance Of One-Party Republican Government After The November 2016 Elections. Radical Change May Be Coming



One-party government is a rarity in modern American politics. There is a good chance that this will happen after the 2016 election.

What is one-party national government in the United States of America?

One party government occurs when Democrats or Republicans control both chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the Presidency.

Why is one party government important?

Either party can usually pass whatever legislation it wants to during one-party rule.

The is an exception. The U.S. Senate does have a filibuster provision -- 41 out of 100 Senators can block legislation from coming to a vote.  However, I believe that the Republicans will eliminate the filibuster if they gain control of the government in 2016. All it would take it a majority vote to eliminate the filibuster which is now unpopular among the American public.

In addition, during one-party rule, Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nominations by either party are rarely challenged. Very conservative or liberal justices can result from these situation.

How often does one party rule occur?

One party rule has occurred 33% of the time in the past 60 years. .  There was one party government by the Democratic Party for 16 years since 1954:

1961 - 69 under Kennedy and Johnson
1977 - 81 under Carter
1993 - 95 under Clinton
2009 - 11 under Obama

Republican one-party government is more rare.  Only George Bush (#2) had a Republican House and Senate to work with from 2003 - 2007 for 4 years.

What are the odds of one party rule starting in January 2017, after the 2016 elections:

Republican rule: 40%

Democratic rule: 2%  (note: The House of Representatives is overwhelmingly Republican -- 247 - 188 Democrats. The odds of the Democrats swinging 30 seats to win control are highly unlikely in the 2016 election).

Split government:   47%

What could a Republican one-party government do:

Here are only some of the things Republican politicians have called for:


  • Eliminate Obamacare subsidies for working Americans and stop low-income Medicaid  Expansion
  • Cut Income Taxes for the wealthiest Americans 
  • Stop all environmental legislation -- since the position of most Republican politicians do not believe in manmade global warming. 
  • Stop any plans for employment protection and anti-discrimination legislation for LGBT Americans
  • Begin to privatize Social Security
  • Reintroduce American troops into the Middle East to fight Isis
  • Immigration reform proposals will end. 
  • Woman's reproductive rights will continue to be scaled back
  • Appoint radical conservative justices to the Supreme Court if opening occur -- which is almost a guarantee since 4 of the 9 justices will be past 80 after 2017
Get ready for right-wing change -- it is very possible after the next elections.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Possible Terrorist Attacks On American Soil Will Benefit Republican Candidates in 2016

Scene From Paris on November 13, 2015

This prediction may be scene as a "no-brainer" by many, and even unfair by many Democrats. However, I believe it it the reality.

The attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13 are the worst to hit any of the  NATO Allies (Western Europe, Canada, and the United States) since the Madrid train bombings in 2004 - when 191 people died, and before that, the September 11 2001 (death toll - close to 3,000).

I believe the American public will move national security and defense issues to the top of the list if any major attacks like the one in Paris were to hit the United States -- or Canada for that matter which is very close to home for Americans both physically and emotionally -- in 2016.

President Obama and his administration, perhaps unfairly, are not seen as strong on defense and security issues by the majority of the American public. Some may consider this unfair since the United States has not been hit with any major terrorist attacks in over 14 years -- since that fateful day on September 11, 2001. However, the Obama administration's perceived tolerance of certain fundamental religious groups who are tied to the Paris and other attacks - by Republicans and security minded independents and the right-wing media -- will be used as a huge "wedge" issue against any Democratic candidate.

Any argument that Hillary Clinton, the most likely Democratic nominee, is actually tough on security will be drowned out by her ties to President Obama as his Secretary of State. Hillary is currently tacking left on these issues -- almost definitely due to Bernie Sanders influence on the Democratic primary electorate. She could not easily become a hawk without damaging her credibility.

Assuming Hillary gets the nomination, perhaps a Vice President choice from the military - a sitting army general for example -- or a Senator with strong security credentials such as Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia could help. However, such a move may irritate a large portion of the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders would be an even weaker Democratic candidate for President if the election revolves around security issues. The American public will be clamoring for large defense spending increases and increased government surveillance, something that the liberal / Bernie Sanders wing is not readily identified with (this is understatement).  In addition,  support for "troops on the ground" in places like Syria -- and back into Iraq -- would likely become a campaign issue - something Bernie could not be seen as supporting.

If the Republicans nominate Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, or even a George Romney (who could become a late entrant) they will be highly favored to win the Presidency in the event of a large wave of domestic terrorism attacks in 2016. They would likely call for huge defense spending increases -- actually financial issues would not be as important.

It looks like 2016 is going to be a very unpredictable election -- that may not be as close as some people expect.


Hawkish Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- The Next President?







Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Only in America -- The Donald Trump Promo Clip for his Hosting of Saturday Night Live on November 7



This can only happen in the USA. Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for President (his numbers are still higher on average then Ben Carson) will be hosting the #1 comedy show, Saturday Night Live, this Saturday November 7.

If this were to happen in most other nations, other candidates would be entitled to similar airtime. But not the USA!  But we are not talking about any typical candidate -- this is television celebrity Donald Trump-- whom many including the Huffington Post do not consider a serious candidate for President.

I for one plan to watch this  Knowing Trump, I am sure he will say outrageous things about other candidates and manage to get away with it. After all, Hillary Clinton dished Mr. Trump with a great imitation of him on October 4 on the same show.


Prediction: A Four Man Race is Emerging in the Republican Nomination for President

From Real Clear Politics - 11/3/2015

A four man race is emerging in the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2016 consisting of:

The leaders -- outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson who have never held political office.

The challengers -- Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and ultraconservative Ted Cruz of Texas.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite who was predicted to take the nomination earlier this year, is down to 4% support in a recent poll measured by Real Clear Politics average of major polls (shown above). will leave the race within 30 days unless he can see rising polls numbers. His next shot to break through is at the November 10 Fox News debate.

However, this is my main prediction -- most people, including Republican voters and caucus goers, re not going to make up their minds until after January 1.  Expect more fluctuations until them.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Is Your ISP Ripping You Off By Throttling Your Internet Speed at Night? Take This Test and Find Out



I have had this enormous problem with Internet speed for the past 10 days. Comcast is my ISP. My average Internet speed is OK during the day -- even though I pay for a minimum of 30 Mbps, it has been averaging about 15 Mbps -- not lightening fast, but OK for much of what I have to do.  This test was made via speedtest.net-- other speed test web sites are showing the same thing.


My Average Comcast Speed from 9:00 AM -  6:00 PM

 At night, beginning at 6:00 PM, my internet speed falls to terrible dial-up levels. There is not much that I can do at night now -- other than get on some basic web sites. It clearly is unacceptable. I cannot easily post on my blog at these numbers.


My Average Comcast Speed From 6:00 PM - 9:00 AM


Now, before I continue, I must tell you that my homeowners association has dropped Comcast and has signed up with AT&T for our cable television service.  We will be switching over to AT & T for our internet service on November 2 since the package deal for adding internet service is so inexpensive. I am pretty sure Comcast realizes this, since everyone in the community of about 400 homes will be switching over by the end of November - the cut-off date.




I have called up Comcast customer service just about every night complaining about my slow internet speed. After being put on hold for many hours over several nights, and being told by Comcast that the problem should be solved by resetting my modem - which did not work after 20 tries -- and insisting that my internet speed should be what I have paid for at all times -- the highest level available here -- they sent a repair guy out on Saturday. Even though we only have service with Comcast for another week, I want to get what I paid for. The service guy spent two hours repairing cables and told me that the problem was fixed.



Well guess what!   It was not.  I am back to slow speeds.

I did some more research, and found out that cable giant Comcast has problems with reports of slow internet service at night all over the USA. This web site in fact -- where I took this map from - is run independently of Comcast -- shows problems from across the United States reported in real time,  It is not a pretty sight!



I did more research and found the culprit -- Traffic Shaping. Comcast - and any ISP for that matter -  can throttle any connection to very slow speeds, for one home or for an entire community, by specifically slowing connections through certain ports on certain protocols. In plain English, if Comcast wants to slow your service, they can, and do this quite often -- without telling their customers beforehand.




Now, I found a way of testing this "traffic shaping at this web site -running a "Glasnost" test for HTTP,  (Hypertext Transfer Protocol, one of the core standards of the World-Wide Web) and came up with these results at night during my slowest web connection time:

http://broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparency/glasnost.php?

Here is my result:

Your ISP appears to rate limit your HTTP downloads. In our tests, downloads using control flows achieved up to 82 Kbps while downloads using HTTP achieved up to 33 Kbps.

So there it is, Comcast has been slowing my service for 15 hours a day without telling me beforehand. I am still paying the same amount of money for high levels of service. This is opposite of what Comcast's Customer Service has been telling me.

Now, I only have to put up for this for another week. But Comcast has some nerve treating their long-term customers this way.  I am glad I am leaving.



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who Won and Who Lost at the Republican Presidential Debate in Colorado Last Night



Here is my take on who won and who lost last night. You can see my predictions here.

The one thing I did not predict is how negative and nasty the CNBC (financial cable channel) were to all the candidates, and how argumentative and snide their moderators were to the candidates. The business community are natural friends to the Republican Party -- but you would not have guessed this watching the debate.

Winners:

Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- He was his handsome and well coiffed self, and handle Jeb Bush's attacks on his absent U.S. Senate voting record with aplomb -- mentioning that other Presidential Republicans whom Jeb Bush supported (Arizona Senator John McCain) did the same when they were running. Rubio also appeared to be sharp and convincing on other financial matters.

New York Billionaire Donald Trump -- He dominated the debate, kept his humor without insulting anyone personally, and came off as the non-politician who can run a business -- which is exactly what he intended to do.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz -- He came across as rational, sharp, honest and even funny -- joking about his own extremist reputation in the Republican Party. Style mattered more than substance.  He also did a great job at pointing out how negative and downright nasty the CNBC moderator questions  were to all the candidates. Whether or not it is enough for a rise in the polls is yet to be seen.


Marco Rubio (Right) fends off an aggressive Jeb Bush


Survivors:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:  He came across as a financial wonk with an in-charge personality. He was charming at times -- and personable. However, there was something a bit defensive and apologetic about his answers -- as if he was saying "yes, I am way down in the polls but listen to me anyway:.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina:  She same across as sharp, knowledgeable, and as a leader. However, she was completely flustered with the moderator asked her about her tenure at Hewlett Packard -- she was removed by the Board of Directors for crashing company stock prices. I also thought that she could have been a bit more humorous and personable in her answers.

Former Neurosurgeon and Corporate Board Guru Ben Carson: He was calm, collected, non-ruffled, and came across as convincing with his Fortune 500 Board Members credentials on favorite American corporations including Costco and Kellogg's. His answers did not cost him his of his evangelical support -- but sounded strange to anyone who does not think the United States can survive on "tithing".

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: He was out of his league -- he clearly did not come across as intellectually gifted as the others. However, his cries for defending Senors who survive on Medicare and Social Security made him appear to be the only truly compassionate  candidate on stage.

Trump puts down John Kasich by telling him that "Ohio got lucky with fracking". 


Losers:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush:  His attack on Marco Rubio appeared disingenuous and contrived-- he should have followed up his attack on his record by pointing out that he was a junior Senator  and not a Republican Party Senate Titan like John McCain. He was not sharp on his feet and appeared to be defensive. It was clear that his campaign is in trouble.

Ohio Governor John Kasich:  His attack on party extremists and "rational Republican" approach could have worked if he did not come across as artificially charged up at the opening of the debate. He spoke too quickly, and did not answer his first question -- going on the attack instead. He would have done better if he calmed down, and moderated his rapid speech and high emotionalism which does not always come across positively on the debate stage. He could have been a clear winner here -- but style is as important as substance.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul: He was the most dislikeable and angry person in the room. His answers to the moderator questions (which were extremely negative for all the candidates). Rand Paul clearly is not satisfied with his campaign, and his lack of visibility in the polls and media coverage on the campaign trail. He also looked like he had a bad toothache throughout the debate.



Hillary Clinton -- Presidential, Calmed, and Assured in front ot the Benghazi Committee

And finally, one clear winner:

Former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton:  The Republican Candidates were too busy answering all the negative questions about themselves asked by the moderators, and defending their financial positions to get worthwhile attacks on the Democratic Party candidate heir apparent. Her clam and poised 11 hours of testimony in front of the Congressional Benghazi Committee came across as far more Presidential than any of the Republican Candidate performances last night.

And one clear loser:

The Republican Party. CNBC moderators ripped their candidates apart with aggressive questioning. Media analyst coverage of the debate was uniformly negative. They cannot be happy with the outcome of the debate. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What to Look For in the Republican Presidential Debate Tonight -- Which Should be the Most Fiery One Yet


The Two Leaders -- Can Trump Stop Carson's Momentum?

The third Republican Presidential debate -- broadcast from Boulder, Colorado -- will begin at 8:00 PM Eastern Time tonight, Wednesday, October 28.. The debate will last for two hours. 10 candidates will be on stage.  The first caucus, Iowa, is three months away (February 1). This debate should be the most fiery one yet -- since the dynamics of the Republican race are far more volatile now than 30 days ago.

Let's take a look at some key matchups:

1. Battle of the Leaders -- Donald Trump vs. Ben Carson

Donald Trump will be on the attack against Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon who is the prefered candidate of the evangelical right, and who now is leading him in every recent Iowa caucus poll, Carson has made impressive gains -- which has triggered some very aggressive and nasty comments from Trump about his religion (Seventh Day Adventist), his professional record, and Iowa voters themselves. Will Carson continue his laconic laid-back approach in debates or will he defend himself against Trump's accusations?  Trump is seeing falling numbers for the first time in the campaign-- how will this effect his bravado (or New York arrogance  depending on your point of view).


Carson Now Leads in Iowa
From Real Clear Politics 10/27/15

Carson is Catching Trump in National Polls -- and Leads  in the CBS Poll
From Real Clear Politics 10/27/15


2. Battle of the Floridians -- Which One Will Emerge as the Establishment Candidate?

Rubio vs Bush-- Which One Will Survive as the Establishment Favorite

Florida Senator Marco Rubio was Jeb Bush'es main political alley when he was Governor of Florida -
as Speaker of the Florida Assembly. There is a generational difference -- telegenic Rubio is 44 years old, looks younger, and contrasts with Jeb Bush at 62 years of age. According to the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls, Rubio is at 9% and Bush at 7% -  low numbers compared to the two leaders, Trump and Carson, but numbers that are expected to increase closer to election time.

There are rumors that Bush, who was considered the front runner earlier this summer,  may be dropping out of the race. Campaign funds are drying up, and he has had an emergency summit with his father and brother, and top donors this weekend, to see how he can shore up his campaign.

Bush clearly does not like Rubio. He expected Rubio to support him--  and not enter the race. They both have the same political positions as centrist big business Republicans. This is do or die time for Bush -- he must move ahead of Rubio in the follow up polls after the debate, and get his poll numbers above 7% to stop hemorrhaging donor financial support. Get ready for fireworks as Bush gets personal and tries to take Rubio down.

3. Will Ted Cruz Continue to Be Mr. Nice Guy and Wait for the Others to Drop Out?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been Mister Nice Guy during the past two debates.  Cruz, who is considered by many to be a vocal tea party firebrand, has not attacked other candidates in the debate -- with the exception of Jeb Bush. Cruz, who is currently at 7% in the polls (according to the Real Clear Politics average) is playing a wait game -- he has been expecting Trump and Carson to implode - letting him pick up their supporters -- Tea Party Republicans. He must show some movement soon though -- and may decide to turn aggressive in the hopes of gaining Trump's and Carson's support.
He needs to stop running against President Obama and start running against other Republicans if he is to get the nomination.

Ultra Conservative Ted Cruz-- Will He Continue to Be Mr. Nice Guy?
4. Others to Watch-

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, according to many commentators, "won" the Second Debate on September 16. Her poll numbers rose to 12% on average -- putting her in a third place position. She since has fallen to 6% in the Real Clear Politics latest poll average. Can she relight the fire by winning tomorrow night's debate? Like Cruz, she needs to do more than attack President Obama and Hillary Clinton to move ahead.

New Jersey Governor Chis Christie, once though to be an establishment favorite, is down to 2% in the latest Real Clear Politics poll average. He needs to breakthrough and he knows it. He is probably the best speaker with a political background in the debate group --will he surprise and break through tomorrow night?

This will be a fun debate to watch-- if you like nasty knock-out political debates I will have my popcorn ready!








Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We Now Have 1000 Page Views



This blog now has over 1,000 unique page views according to Google.   Visitors to the blog are counted only once in a 30 minute period, even if they read 20 articles.

My first post, forecasting a narrow Republican victory in the 2016 United States Senate Election, was published on October 2, 2015. I published 21 posts so far this month, about one a day. My latest post predicts a much more aggressive tone from Vermont's Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders as he tries to make headway against Hillary Clinton's 22 point lead in the polls.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why is Bernie Sanders Finally Going on the Offensive Against Hillary Clinton?

Bernie Sanders - No More Mr. Nice Guy


Bernie Sanders finally went on the offensive against Hillary Clinton this weekend. It is the first time he has been this aggressive against Hillary's past positions (or defense of her husband's positions when he was President) on several issues, including LGBT issues, in the past 20 years.




The answer is this. Bernie gained kudos (and campaign donations) from defending Hillary against Republican attacks about her emails. He said the more memorable line during the first Democratic debate on October 13:

"I think the secretary is right," he said. "And that is, I think the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"

Now, although this defense unifies the Democratic Party it is not going to get Bernie the Democratic Nomination. Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 22 Points in the current Real Clear Politics average of polls- a number that is bound to increase now that Joe Biden is out of the race.

What Bernie Sanders must do is first win the Iowa Caucuses on February 1, where he and Hillary are close (Hillary is up by 7 points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls as of today),  and  the New Hampshire Primary which will be held the following week and which Bernie Sanders is comfortably ahead of Hillary Clinton by as much as 15 points in the latest CBS Poll. Bernie Sanders is from New Hampshire's neighboring state, Vermont, and is very well known there. Both Iowa and New Hampshire have Democratic electorates which are white, well educated, and liberal -- Bernie Sanders's best group in polling support.

A Presidential and Calm Hillary Clinton Before the Benghazi Committee

Hillary Clinton's strength comes from African-American, Latino, and more conservative Working Class voters. The next state to vote after Iowa and New Hampshire is South Carolina, where Hillary is well ahead by 34 points -- other Southern states vote soon after.

Bernie Sanders must win Iowa and New Hampshire, and then hope for enough momentum to carry him through to the main body of primaries beginning in March. He is raising substantial amounts of cash right now  from small donors. Bernie must get his liberal base enthusiastic, committed, and to caucus living room in Iowa and to the polls in New Hampshire -- he must win both states to establish momentum. He is not going to do this by being Mr. nice guy, but by positioning himself as a true "liberal" against Hillary Clinton who he will try to position as an opportunistic flip-flop.

You can expect fireworks at the next Democratic debate from South Carolina on November 6  - now with only three candidates participating (including O'Malley), and more of rancour in coming weeks. Hillary Clinton though is so far ahead right now--  she may decide to just be calm and Presidential - just like she was before the Benghazi committee last week -- and not respond to Bernie Sanders in kind. Get ready though for a different campaign -- as the Democrats start preparing for February 2016. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Confident and Poised Hillary Clinton Came Out On Top Yesterday -- And Solidified Her Grip on The Democratic Nomination



A confident and poised Hillary Clinton was grilled for 11 hours yesterday in front of several rude and disrespectful Republican Congressman at the House Select Benghazi Committee. The House Select Committee is the longest running and most expensive Congressional Committee ever called -- and is considered political in nature by a majority of Americans (72% in one latest poll).

Hillary did not crack under pressure, and the aggressive and badgering nature of the Republican Congressman was evident for all to see.  I do not need to write more about this-- anyone can read the news reports. But how will this influence the 2016 elections?

Few are changing their opinion as a result of the theatrics (or lack of them on Hillary's part) yesterday. Either you like what the Republicans are doing and will never support her for President,  or you like Hillary's poised response. But as far as the 2016 elections are concerned, Hillary Clinton solidified her lead as the front running Democratic Candidate.

This video -- featuring a confrontation between the Democratic Party Head on the Committee, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, and Republican and Committee Chair Trey Gowdy of South Carolina shows a  posed Hillary approving of s transcript releases from the testimony of others, which the Republicans refuse to do:





This is a good article from the Washington Post on what happened yesterday:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/22/hillary-clinton-triumphed-at-the-benghazi-committee-by-not-losing-her-cool/

My Prediction:  Hillary Clinton will soon move to an over 50% poll position among likely Democratic Primary and Caucus goers once the latest batch of polls are out. He will gave this from Joe Biden Supporters who will support her candidacy by more than a 3-1 margin over Bernie Sanders. Hillary will soon assume a 25% margin over Sanders -- one that will be very hard for him to substantially erase.

The thing is this -- Sanders does well with white, non-minority voters from liberal backgrounds -- and Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states - up in February -- are ones where his is as polling as strong as Hillary -- or even in front of her (New Hampshire, the neighboring state to Bernie's Vermont). If Sanders wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states, he could assume a leading position.  Hillary's strongest states come after March 1. Momentum is everything.

Here is the latest polling aggregate from Real Clear Politics  (taken on October 23, 2015) on the Democratic nomination. It does not yet reflect Biden's withdrawal from the race.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

New House Speaker Paul Ryan Will Help The Republicans Hold The House of Representatives in 2016



Everyone likes Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, who will almost definitely be elected the next Speaker of the House (see footnote)  on October 28 to replace retiring Speaker John Boehner.

Democrats like Paul Ryan and are supporting his election as Speaker.

Right Wing Tea Party Republicans - the Freedom Caucus--  likes Paul Ryan

Establishment Republicans, the mainstream of the Republican Party like Paul Ryan.

45 year old Paul Ryan is smart, affable, photogenic, has shown willingness to compromise, and is simply a nice guy.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives are in the middle of a civil war.  The right wing "freedom caucus", 40 our of 247 Republican Representatives, are not willing to compromise on budget and other issues with President Obama and Democrats - and would not support a Republican Speaker candidate who did not share their views.

As of last night, Paul Ryan, who was the Republican nominee for Vice President in 2012, and head of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee which approves governmental expenditures, gained the support of the Freedom Caucus. He already has the support of establishment Republicans.

Paul Ryan is a great choice for Republicans. The American people do not like their government shut down -- with everything but essential services and the Defense Department closed. Americans cannot visit National Parks, get Passports, or do many other things when this happens. They will blame the Republicans in Congress more than the Democrats if this happens - and may give control of the House of Representatives to Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party in 2016 in this eventuality.

If Paul Ryan can keep his Congressional Party together, and work out key compromises with President Obama and the Democrats in the process, the Republican Party will almost definitely keep control of the House of Representatives in 2016.

Could a deadlocked Republican Convention in 2016 turn to Paul Ryan to be a compromise Presidential Candidate?   Of course they could -- but the Republicans have not had a brokered Convention since 1948. The odds are very small of one occurring. 

---
Footnote:

The Speaker of the House is considered to be the second most powerful person in the U.S. government behind the President. The Speaker runs the House of Representatives, approves budgets, and decides which legislation comes up for votes. The Speaker becomes President if the President and Vice President cannot serve their terms or die in office. The party in control of the House of Representatives elects the Speaker.

One interesting fact -- The Speaker of the House and President can come from opposing parties, a situation which President Obama has faced since 2011, and will face for the remainder of his term as President. He has had a Democratic majority in the House for only his first two years in office. President George Bush (number 2) had to face a Democratic Speaker for his last two years in office (Nancy Pelosi), and President Bill Clinton faced a Republican Speaker for 6 of his 8 years in office. American voters have shown a preference for split government in modern times.


House of Representatives


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Prediction: With Joe Biden Out of the Race, Hillary Clinton Will Be the Democratic Nominee in 2016


Joe Biden has just said he is not running for President in 2016.

And with that announcement, I predict that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee in 2016.

I predict that Hillary will do well in the Congressional Benghazi hearings tomorrow -- which the majority of Americans now feel is politically motivated.

My first firm prediction is made. 

Get Ready America! The Most Likely Republican Nominee for President Is Donald Trump

Start Dealing With It -- The Donald Is In the Lead and Staying on Top

The most likely Republican nominee for President is Donald Trump.

Up until this morning, I have not considered Trump a serious presidential candidate. I have not considered his supporters in the polls serious about their choice. I, like many other Americans considered Trump, a loud mouthed New Yorker with lots of money looking for something to do, and a bit of a charlatan. I did not even think he wanted to be President and would bow out at some point from  the nomination race.

As of this morning, I changed my opinion. Donald Trump is not only a serious candidate -- but he very well may be unstoppable. If he gets the Republican nomination next July, American politics will never be the same.

Poll Aggregate as of 10/21/15 from Real Clear Politics
Republican Nomination for President
My factors in reaching this conclusion:

1. Donald Trump is rising back to his high poll numbers of 30% Republican Support that he had in mid-September-- before a concerted attack on the part of the Republican establishment (big donors like the Koch Brothers who "influence" much of the party) to bring him down.  30% is enough to get him chosen as nominee in a crowded Republican field.

2.  Trump is the most teflon candidate ever since Ronald Reagan. There is nothing he can say that can stick to him. If anything, his supporters love his gaffes. Politicians usually watch what they say so as not to alienate entire voting groups. Donald Trump could not care less - and is benefiting from his this.

3. Trump is ahead in individual state polling for every single primary and caucus state starting with Iowa in February.

4. Trump's main competitor, Ben Carson, although raising lots of cash, does not have Trump's ability to deflect media criticism. In addition, I do not think the Republican Party is ready to nominate a minority racial candidate.

5. Trump is battering Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite, in the polls. The real battle Bush should be fighting is with his protege Marco Rubio, whose ascension he backed in Florida politics. Instead, Bush is fighting with Trump - a battle he cannot win since he does not have a base of strong supporters backing him.

6. Most importantly, Trump seems more serious about staying in the Republican race now.  He seems angry at the Republican establishment -- and, for Trump, nothing will fuel him more than resentment.

I expect more elected  Republican politicians, particularly from the Tea Party group, to start backing Trump. If Trump, comes next February, can win enough of the early states in which he now holds leads -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina consecutively --  the Republican race will be effectively over and he will be the party nominee. It is a realization that few political watchers are ready to accept.

Note: for a contrary opinion, please see this article in Nate Silver's excellent 538 blog. They put the odds at 2% of a Trump nomination.




Monday, October 19, 2015

Update: News Sources Report Joe Biden Will Enter The Race for President Within 48 Hours



News reports this afternoon are saying that Joe Biden will enter the race for President by Wednesday, October 21. I ran an article here about Biden's poll numbers earlier today.

Here are the reports.

Daily Beast on a Fox News Source
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/10/19/biden-reportedly-entering-presidential-race.html

CNN
https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/656147634344869888

Daily Caller
http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/19/democratic-congressman-says-joe-biden-is-running-for-president/

Stay tuned for more news.



Joe Biden's Remarkable Resilience In the Polls -- How Long Can It Last?




Vice President Joe Biden has not formally declared his candidacy for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.  We said here last week that he has until the middle of November to declare before he starts missing key primary filing dated. But for now, he is playing a wait-and-see game -- sending out broad hints that he may be ready to declare his intention to run for President -- and keeping the Democratic Party faithful on the edge of their seats waiting for a decision.

He may be waiting until Thursday of this week to see how Hillary Clinton will do before the Congressional Benghazi Committee -- something she has adroitly handled in the past, and is expected to do again. Several Republicans in Congress have admitted that the hearings are politically motivated, which comes as no surprise to just about anyone following them.

What I find remarkable is that his support among the Democratic electorate has been holding steady at about 20% for the past month according to the Real Clear Politics aggregate  track of polls shown above. As long as these numbers stay in this range, Joe Biden can do what he wants for the next several weeks. He could end up declaring tomorrow -- or in another six weeks and forgo the early primaries. I believe that he does not want to battle with Hillary Clinton and her supporters, but wants to continue to position himself as the next logical choice for centrist and moderate Democrats who cannot see themselves supporting independent Bernie Sanders and his democratic socialist philosophies.

Biden's continuing strength is remarkable --- and would probably increase to 25% if he gets in the race, at least tieing with Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

Biden could declare tomorrow. He is keeping himself in the spotlight right now by not making a decision -- and may want to keep it this way.  He is confirming his reputation as a master politican by doing so.




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Read This Great Article From the Huffington Post about the 2016 Election




I recommend this article:  It talks about the rise of two non-politicians, Donald Trump and Ben Carson on the Republican side, and the rise of Independent and self-proclaimed Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side for the 2016 election.

No one should have forecast this happening one year ago.

______________

It's Time To Admit: Nobody Knows Anything About The 2016 Campaign 

The old "rules" of presidential politics no longer seem to apply.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2016-campaign-old-rules_5621673be4b02f6a900c66aa

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Will Julian Castro be Hillary's Vice President and Can Texas Turn Purple?

Julian Castro's Dazzling Smile -- Could It Help Hillary Clinton?

Many Democrats are talking up Julian Castro, The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Vice President in 2016. Hillary Clinton confirmed that he was a top choice earlier this week.

In modern times, the Vice President is always the choice of the party nominee, and voted on by the nominating conventions after the Presidential candidate is chosen. The Republican and Democratic Party conventions are set for July of 2016.

Julian Castro has many plusses going for him. He is currently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a cabinet position, and was mayor of San Antonio Texas.  San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States with a population of 1.4 million.

He is young (41), handsome, smart, and  of Latino (Mexican American) heritage, a key target group for Democratic Party strategists. The Latino vote will be crucial in two of the 8 key swing states, Florida (25% of  population) and Colorado (22% of population)  in next year's election.  In addition, Julian's age will help balance the Democratic ticket in terms of age demographics,.

He is also an excellent public speaker -- and keynoted at the Democratic Convention in 2012. It was Senator Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention that started his national prominence.

One interesting fact -- Julian has an  identical twin brother who is a congressman from Texas - Joaquin. They attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School together.

On the downside: Julian Castro has never been elected to statewide office in Texas-- but a Democrat has not been elected Senator or Governor from this very Republican state in over 20 years.  His resume for Vice President would be better if he were a U.S. Senator or Governor, or even a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He would need to score well in the Vice Presidential debate in 2016 (there will certainly be one next year) in terms of convincing voters he understands foreign policy and national security issues.

Will Texas turn purple?

Texas is a reliable Red (Republican) state in Presidential Elections. It's 38 electoral votes, the second largest of any state (behind California at 55), are crucial for any Republican Presidential win. Texas has not voted for the Democratic candidate for President since 1976- when  Jimmy Carter won the election.

If Texas were to turn Purple -- voting for  Democratic (Blue) candidate in Presidential elections while still continuing to vote for some Republican (Red) candidates for statewide offices at least part of the time, it would be impossible for Republicans to win the Presidency. Virginia, once a solid Republican state like Texas, is now voting Democratic in Presidential elections (2008 and 2012) -- and is considered to be Purple.

Could it happen?  Yes. In 2008, President Obama received 44% of the vote. the same percent as Bill Clinton received in 1996. Although President Obama's share of the vote fell to 41% in 2012, he was deeply unpopular among white voters- still the majority of voters in Texas at the time.

Factors for Texas possibly turning purple:

1. Latinos and Hispanics are 38% of the population in Texas. Many are from a Mexican heritage. Although they do not make up 38% of the voting electorate this number will increase over time. 

2. Texas has a large number of migrating workers who are from Democratic states. 

3. Younger voters in Texas -- under 30 years old -- who come from Republican families are increasingly voting for Democratic candidates because of "wedge" issues such as climate change, LGBT rights, and women's reproductive issues.

Julian Castro might not be able to swing Texas in 2016 to the Democrats -- the only way the Republicans could lose Texas is in an incredible landslide. But he could energize Latino voters all over the United States. In addition, his appeal is not only to Latinos -- but all groups. His selection would be a winning choice.



Friday, October 16, 2015

Bernie Sanders Polls Numbers Are Flat At 25% -- He Cannot Win the Democratic Nomination Unless They Grow -- But From Where?

From Real Clear Politics 


Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate -- and is running as a "Democratic Socialist" on the left of the Democratic Party has gained very positive media coverage for the past six months due to his ability to pull enormous crowds to his events, and raise huge amounts of cash from small donors.

His numbers have increased while Hillary Clintons have decreased.  Hillary still has a 20 point lead over Sanders (see above chart of aggregate polls).

Joe Biden (the green line in the poll) is the wild card. He is a Democratic Centrist, and if enters the race, will be running to the right of both Clinton and Sanders.  If he enters the race, his numbers will likely increase at the expense of Hillary Clinton. But if he does not run, Hillary's numbers will increase.

The question is this about Bernie Sanders -- where can he grow?  He has been flat at 25% of the Democratic electorate for the past two months. The other candidates are not going anywhere (O'Malley and Chafee).  His growth must come at the expense of support of Clinton and Biden -- but his leftist positions on many issues are not resonating with their supporters.

Will Sanders move away from his socialist philosophies which do not resonate with moderate Democrats (for example, his love of Denmark's social system at the debate may not resonate well once people realize what a huge percent of tax and VAT (sales tax) Denmark takes from its citizens). How will he gain the support of important African-American and Latino voters in the crucial early states of South Carolina and Nevada -- who are not now resonating to his message  - and his events in which the vast majority of his supporters appear to be affluent and white.  How will he compete?

Bernie Sanders is an excellent candidate, but for him to become a serious contender, he simply must expand his base and poll numbers in the next several months. Primary/caucus  season starts in earnest next February -- so there is time. But as things stand now, many top pundits are not giving him much of a chance to walk away with the prize.