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. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Puerto Ricans Are Migrating To Florida In Large Numbers -- And this is Good News for Democrats

Puerto Rico Celebrations in Orlando Florida

Puerto Ricans are migrating to Florida in large numbers -- and this is good news for Democrats.

Due to the severe downturn of the economy in Puerto Rico, and economic opportunities in Florida, over 100,000 people from Puerto Rico have migrated to Florida in the past four years.  The are primarily moving to Central Florida -- many to the greater Orlando area.

Puerto Ricans now number nearly 1 million statewide and represent 28 percent of Hispanic registered voters — closing in on a Cuban population of 1.3 million that comprises 32 percent of Hispanic voters.

Puerto Ricans are United States Citizens, and can register to vote in Florida immediately upon a move. They overwhelmingly vote Democratic in Presidential Elections.


Why is Florida important?

Florida, the third largest state behind California and Texas with 20 million people, is the most important swing state in U.S. Presidential Elections. Florida has gone with the winning candidate in every Presidential election year since 1964 -- except for 1992 when it voted for George Bush over Bill Clinton.  Florida voted for President Obama twice -- and in 2012 by the narrowest margin of any state -- well under 1% of the vote -- with a margin of 70,000 votes.

It is nearly impossible statistically for Republicans to win the electoral college -- which determines the Presidency -- without Florida's 29 electoral votes. This is why I predicted that a Floridian will be on the Republican ticket (either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio as President or Vice President).

This is very good news for Democrats.

For more information:

http://news.yahoo.com/how-a-surge-in-puerto-rican-voters-is-changing-florida-politics-150912696.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/exodus-from-puerto-rico-could-upend-florida-vote-in-2016-presidential-race/2015/07/26/d73bc724-3229-11e5-8353-1215475949f4_story.html



Ricky Martin is a Major Democrat Supporter

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Prediction: Hillary Clinton Will Win Tonight's Democratic Presidential Debate By Default If This Happens

Warning to the Other Candidates -- Don't Turn Hillary Into Joan of Arc

As many of you know, there the first Democratic Debate - held in Las Vegas Nevada--  is set for tonight at 8:00 PM EST on CNN. Hillary Clinton will be on the center of the debate stage, she will be surrounded by four other Democratic Candidates --

Her closest rival at the debate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the only declared candidate who is challenging her in the polls.

Three former Democratic Party politicians who are running at under 1% in the polls will be at the debate. Their aim is to get some traction and recognition tonight - any way possible. Hillary is their target.

Former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley

Former Senator and Governor from Rhode Island  Lincoln Chafee

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb

My Prediction. Hillary Clinton will win the debate by default if the other candidates, who are all middle -senior aged white men, are seen as ganging up and attacking her , and being disrespectful to her and her supporters. Shouting will particularly not go over well at the debate if it is directed at Hillary.

Will this happen?  Bernie Sanders, who is an excellent candidate, has not attacked Hillary personally during the campaign, but could come across as supporting the other candidates, who have nothing to lose by attacking her. . Lincoln Chafee's entire campaign so far has been to attack Hillary from the left. Martin O'Malley has also attacked her from the left.  Jim Webb is more of an unknown and is coming from the right side of the Democratic Party - he may be key in setting the tone of the debate.

Hillary Clinton is currently seen by Democrats are being unfairly targeted by the Republican Benghazi Congressional Committee in their ongoing investigation. Her supporters are angry about this -- and also feel that the negative press around her is unfair. All that a group attack will do is to energize her supporters -- and undecided Democratic centrists -- in backing her even more.

Hillary does quite well when she is debating, and knows how to turn emotional attacks to her advantage. She will win the debate tonight if the other candidates come across and angry white men no different in approach  than the Republicans in Congress.



Monday, October 12, 2015

Reality Check -- Donald Trump is up in the Polls -- Yet Again -- And Is The Leader For the Republican Nomination



The tone of the "media conventional wisdom" of late is that Donald Trump is losing his grip on the Republican nomination.

This is not true. According to Real Clear Politics, he lead has actually expanded.  He is now the choice of 27% of likely Republican primary and caucus goers according to two most recent national polls which are both well regarded-- CBS News and Public Policy Polling. Gaffe-prone former neurosurgeon Ben Carson is in second place. The huge hyped surge of Carly Fiorina is not happening according to the polls.

27% might not sound like much, in a crowded field, it can get Trump the nomination. I still think that the "Republican money establishment" will see to it that this does not happen.

The next Republican Presidential Debate is set for Wednesday, October 28 in Colorado. You can expect Trump to be more rested, and back to his entertaining self. He will not be off balance and tired as he was during the last debate on September 16.



Joe Biden's Is Running Out of Time and Must Decide Within the Next Four Weeks If He Is Running For President




Last Wednesday, on October 7, I addressed the strong rumors that Vice President Biden was ready to jump into the Democratic race for President by saying that I did not think he was ready to make a decision.  I also said that he had to make up his mind by November 10 if he was to run a serious campaign.

I am not ready to predict if Joe will run or not. But let me point out some deadlines here.

First, Joe must show up at the second Democratic debate in Iowa on November 14. He has already said he intends to miss the first debate set for tomorrow night (October 13) in Colorado. I cannot see him missing two debates in a row and convincing anyone he is serious about running for President.

One interesting point -- CNN, the host of the debate,  has set up a podium for Biden just in case he shows up. The Democrats do not have a "Donald Trump" factor in their debates which would drive up ratings -- and there are a limited number of people who will find the Democratic Debate that interesting without him.  However, Joe is a great showman and doing something like turning up at the last minute is something I can see happening. But not this time.

Second, the filing deadlines for early state primaries will start in November. Here are the filing deadline dates that are set for now  (Note: Texas has appeared to delayed their date until December 14 -- not November 10 as I reported prior). Unless Biden files, he will miss being on the ballot.




 Arkansas     ---   March 1     ----    November 9

 Louisiana      ---    March 5  -----  November 20

 New Hampshire    ---  February 9,   ----   November 27

Illinois   ----   March 15  ----   November 30

 Tennessee ---  March 1, 2016  ----  December 1

 Oklahoma ----   March 1, 2016  ------  December 2


Make Up Your Mind Joe!
I do not think Biden has made up his mind. His ideal scenario would be to have Clinton damaged enough so that he can be the "mainstream party saviour" and get in the race without having to go through a grueling primary fight. As for now, Clinton is still the front runner. But whatever the case, he only has another month left to make a decision. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Reality Check: Hillary Clinton Is Not Collapsing In the Polls And Remains The Most Likely Democratic Nominee

Still the most likely Democratic Nominee

I just left this comment in a new story that says the following about Hillary Clinton's standing in the polls for the Democratic Nomination on Yahoo.


WRONG!   THIS INFORMATION IS NOT CORRECT

This poll is not in line with the other polls. If you check Real Clear Politics, and look for the master poll list, you will see that Clinton is holding steady with an 18 - 20 point advantage over Sanders. She has actually had a bit of a rebound in the past two weeks, but it is too early to tell. The race narrowed around September 1, and Hillary has lost her huge advantage then -- but it always was unlikely that Hillary would continue getting over 50% of the vote through the primaries. She has held steady at about 40%, and this assumes Joe Biden is in the race. If Biden is out, polls show her going over 50% again.

Note from Eddi:  In general, the media's conventional wisdom in the media for the past several six weeks has downplaying Hillary Clinton's chances  to get the Democratic nomination, and talking of a "collapse" in her candidacy.  However, the polls do not show this.  Hillary still leads the other candidates, by a wide margin, and still is the most likely Democratic candidate for president in the polls. 

But remember this -- the first caucus, Iowa, is on February 1, 2016. This is over 100 days away -- and it is still too early to make bold predictions. The vast majority of caucus goers in Iowa, and in New Hampshire which holds the first primary one week later on February 8, will not be paying serious attention until after the first of the year. Don't believe the hype that you are reading about firm favorites anywhere right now. 

To see the full poll shown below in Real Clear Politics
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_democratic_presidential_nomination-3824.html



Friday, October 9, 2015

Prediction 2016: The Democrats Hold The Advantage in the Presidential Election - But It Is Too Early To Call



Prediction 2016:  The Democrats Hold The Advantage in the Presidential Election - But It Is Too Early To Call

To understand my prediction, you need to know a basic fact about Presidential Elections in the United States of America. - People do not vote directly for Presidential candidates, but instead, vote for electors pledged to specific candidates in the Electoral College, which meets every four years to pick a President and Vice President after the November election. 270 votes are required to win the Presidency and Vice Presidency.

There are two very important fact about the Electoral College. First, electoral votes favor smaller states -- they are not divided by population, but are assigned based on the number of house and senate members each state sends to Congress. This formula gives preference to smaller states. Second, and this is the important one, each state votes as one block of electors in a winner-take-all formal. The huge state of California with 39 million people, casts 55 electoral votes -- or over 20% of the total needed to make 270 electoral votes.

This formula preference to the larger states and the states which are not firmly aligned with the Democrat or Republican Party in terms of influence. For example -- Although California sounds like it is important, it has voted for the Democratic candidate since 1992 by wide margins. Texas is the largest Republican State, and have voted Republican every time since 1980. Both states are firmly in one party or another and generally overlooked by candidates. Florida and Ohio, on the other hand, are states which are fairly evenly split between Democrat and Republican constituencies and get far more advertising and candidate visits in election years.


The 2016 Electoral College Map as of today

The map above, which I made over at 270 to Win, shows my estimates for where the electoral college vote stands today, and the 8 swing states which will determine the election. I am calling a swing state if the margin of victory for either party was under 6% in 2012. In other words, if a state has voted for either Romney or Obama in 2012 by a popular vote margin of more than 6%, it is likely that this state will continue to vote Democratic or Republican in 2016 -- no matter who the candidate is. Please see note 1 for the winning margins in each swing state for detail.

Here is where we stand today based on these projections:

Democratic Party:  233 electoral votes, 37 needed for the Presidency

Republican Party: 191 electoral votes, 69 needed for the Presidency

There are 8 swing states which will decide the election. that account for 114 electoral votes. These states are:

States which voted Republican for Romney in 2012:

  • North Carolina (15 Electoral Votes)

States which voted Democrat for Obama in 2012:

  • Florida   (29 Electoral Votes)
  • Ohio  (18 Electoral Votes)
  • Virginia  (13 Electoral Votes)
  • Colorado  (9 Electoral Votes)
  • Pennsylvania (20 Electoral Votes)
  • New Hampshire (6 Electoral Votes)
  • Iowa (9 Electoral Votes)

This shows why Florida is so important for the Republicans in the election, and why I predicted that a Floridian will be on the Republican ticket in 2016 as either President or Vice President. earlier.

If the Democrats win Florida (as they have in every Presidential election since 1996 with the exception of the 2000 Bush/Gore election fiasco) in 2016, they will be 8 electoral votes away from the Presidency -- which any other state on this list other than New Hampshire can allow. If the Republicans lose Florida, they will need to win just every swing state with the exception of New Hampshire, something which is statistically improbably.

The Democrats could lose Florida, and still win the Presidency through a combination of states. For example, winning Pennsylvania and Ohio, states which have voted for President Obama twice- would still give them the election.

It is still too early to call the 2016 Presidential Election. However, the electoral college map does to point to an advantage for the Democratic Party.

_______________

Note 1. Determination of Swing States by popular vote

Republican

North Carolina 2.04%

Democratic

Florida 0.88%
Ohio 2.98%
Virginia 3.87%
Colorado 5.37%
Pennsylvania 5.39%
New Hampshire 5.58%
Iowa 5.81%




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Draftt Biden Television Ad Released. Does It Mean He Is Running?



The Draft Biden 2016 Super-PAC (Political Action Committee) has released the first Joe Biden for President television ad. Does it mean he will be announcing his candidacy  for the Democratic Nomination for President?  Some say he will announce as soon as this weekend.

Super-Pacs usually do not run commercials like this unless they get some indication of approval from the candidate. They must operate independently of candidates, according to law - but they all maintain some communication with candidates or their chief of staff.

Still, I am still not convinced this will happen. I do not think he has made his mind up yet.

Joe Biden has already said he will not be participating in the Democratic Presidential debates on October 13.  If he were running he would have shown up at this debate.

I expect Joe Biden to continue to draw out this "will I or won't I run decision" for the next several weeks. He is waiting to see how Hillary Clinton handles her email problems, and what happens when she testifies in Congress in late October for yet another Benghazi hearing.  Most pundits feel that Hillary will handle this hearing quite well - just as she has in the past. Hillary Clinton seems to be holding own in the polls right now -- and may be widening her margin against the other candidates. after what for her has been a very bad summer.

Biden must announce by November 10 to make some early primary filing dates -- including the important Texas Primary set for March 1, 2016,

Still, its interesting to see the first Joe Biden for President released. In fact, the timing is masterful -- because he is keeping his candidacy in the media, and drawing press attention away from the other Democratic candidates.

Note:  There are two commitments that Biden may have received that will make him the frontrunner if he decides to run. First, an endorsement from President Obama before the important South Carolina Primary on February 27, 2016 - a primary in which african americans should determine the winner. Second, if Elizabeth Warren endorses him and agrees to run as his Vice President in a public announcement  before the primaries are underway. I do not see either happening. 

See the New York Times for more information:
http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/10/07/new-tv-ad-urging-joe-biden-to-run-recalls-1972-accident/


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One Big Reason Why The Republicans Should Be Favored In 2016 - The Three Election Rule



There is one big reason why the Republicans should be favored for the Presidency in 2016.  I call this the three election rule. The American electorate likes to alternate Democratic and Republican presidencies, and switch after two terms.

Only twice, in modern times --  the past 75 years, have Presidential Elections been won by the same party more than two times in a row. The Roosevelt/Truman era (1932 - 1952) -- in which the Democratic Party won 5 Presidential elections in a row, and the Reagan / Bush #1 era (1980 - 1992) - in which the Republican Party won three elections in a row. I give extenuating circumstance for each era in the note below.

President Obama, a Democrat, won the presidency in 2008 and 2012.  President Obama's approval ratings at the current time are middling at best  (46%) - which is another factor which points to a Republican victory.


There is an important caveat:  There is one main reason why the 2016 election might break this rule. FWe may be in an era of Democratic Party domination of the Presidency because of a built-in Democratic Party edge in the Electoral College -- particularly since the large states of California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are considered safe for Democratic candidates and give them 161 of the 270 electoral votes needed for the Presidency. In comparison, only the large states of Texas and Georgia are considered safe for Republicans with 54 electoral votes. It is much more difficult for the Republicans to put together a victory for President because of the electoral college math -- for one thing, according to most estimates, they must carry Florida's 29 electoral votes to win. Florida has voted Democratic in 2008 and 2012. 

----

Notes: 

The Presidential Eras in which the same party kept power:

Truman and FDR


1. The Roosevelt / New Deal Era - 5 Democratic Party Wins:

Democratic Presidents:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) - 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944
Harry Truman -  1948

Extenuating circumstances:  FDR won a record 4 Presidential elections. He is the only President to be elected for more than 2 consecutive terms, and will be the only one since a Constitutional Amendment was passed in 1951 - the 22nd Amendment -- which limits Presidents to two consecutive terms. 

FDR was an enormously popular President. The USA was engaged in World War 2 when he won reelection to a 3rd term (1940) and a 4th term (1944) - by which time he was ill. He would die in April 1945, turning the Presidency over to Harry Truman who would serve as President for almost 8 years (until February 1953).   Harry Truman was not favored to win reelection in November, 1948, but did by holding enough of the Roosevelt Democratic Party coalition together. 

Harry Truman would not run for reelection in 1952, and was very unpopular by the time he left office -- but, in retrospect, was one of the best Presidents according to Presidential Rankings by most modern historians. 

------

Reagan and Bush #1


2. The Reagan/Bush Era - 3 Republican Wins

Ronald Reagan -  1980, 1984
George Bush #1 -  1988

Extenuating circumstances:  The Democratic Party candidate, Micheal Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts, was simply a terrible candidate - George Bush #1 ran a much better campaign. Ronald Reagan also had a good approval rating in November, 1988 at the time of the election (57%) which helped George Bush #1, his sitting Vice President, win the election. 


(Note: some will argue that Al Gore really won the Presidency in 2000.  He won the popular vote against George Bush #2 -- the election was called by the US Supreme Court by stopping the Florida recount.  George Bush #2 was ultimately the President).