Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 24: "Renegades" (May 22, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all.

Days until June 7 (Final Primaries): 16
Days until General Election: 170


Symbolic Victory: Trump Wins Oregon
The Oregon Republican primary occurred this past Tuesday, and presumptive nominee Trump won. However, both Cruz and Kasich were given 3 delegates, and Trump got just 2/3 of the vote. Kasich hit 25% Portland and 20% in surrounding areas (with people noticing his strength map looks strikingly similar to counties Democrats won in 2012), Trump has registered some of the worst results by a nominee with no major opposition already. It has yet to be seen if this will remain or if the party will coalesce by June 7. Regardless, he’ll win the nomination, so it doesn’t matter.

Trump Surges in General Election Polls - But Don’t Fear
Since clinching the nomination in early May. Trump has received a 5-10 percent boost in General Election polling. This has caused concern, with polls showing close races in Ohio, Florida, and even New Jersey.

To Democrats: This is a temporary boost. Once Hillary wins the nomination, all will be restored. And as to New Jersey, it has a history of undecideds breaking heavily Democratic at the last minute. Never fear, McCain was up much more than this much closer to election day.

To Republicans: Enjoy it while it lasts, it’s a temporary surge (although it’ll return after the RNC). You’ve got bigger fish to fry right now, if it’s true that...

Bill Kristol Announces “Renegade Party”
Weekly Standard editor and conservative columnist William Kristol has announced the forming of the Renegade Party, thanks to a Breitbart comment about him. Kristol may have challenges finding a candidate (although according to his stupid/cryptic tweets, anyone from Tom Coburn to Mitt Romney could do it) and even more trouble scraping up votes. There’s also the possibility this is a joke, or a stunt, or a desperate plea of revenge. It’s really unclear, and Kristol has been being odd since this whole Trump-as-nominee thing has been happening. Don’t pay attention to his whining until he actually has a candidate, or even a plan.


Candidates Split Oregon, Kentucky
This past Tuesday, two states voted. Oregon chose Sanders (no surprise there), and Kentucky was razor-thin, eventually being called for Clinton. Sanders came out 9 delegates ahead, but it really doesn’t matter at this point. Sanders is trying to amass delegates to influence the (useless) party platform at this point, and Clinton is trying not to embarrass herself. And so far, they’re both making progress. The only difference? Clinton will be the nominee.

Meet Your Potential Vice Presidential Candidates
*Sorted by Likelihood
1. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
At this point, Kaine is the safest choice. An inoffensive moderate from key swing state Virginia with no dooming background, there’s no glooming negatives. He may be fairly boring and not a great pick to win over disaffected Sanders voters, but he could be a good Bentsen-type pick to balance the ticket without drawing too much attention away from Clinton.

2. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Warren would be great to win over Sanders voters, being a very progressive Senator who was briefly sought to run for the presidency. However, Warren is 66 and from the same region of the country as Clinton, as well as being from safe state Massachusetts. She also would make the ticket basically toxic for disaffected conservatives.

3. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
As a young, black, experienced Senator, Booker appears to be a good pick. However, he won’t help much in safe New Jersey, and his closeness to Wall Street isn’t going to help with Sanders voters. However, he could boost turnout among minorities, which could help put states like Mississippi and Georgia in play.

4. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Klobuchar is ideologically similar to Clinton, meaning she could appeal to both Bernie voters and conservatives. She is young, and from semi-swing state Minnesota. However, like Kaine, she seems boring and, as well, picking 2 women would only grow the gender gap currently existing between her and Trump (up to 25 points or more!)

5. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Salazar could boost Hispanic votes and assure the Clinton campaign a win in Colorado. However, he is notoriously extremely moderate and has very low name recognition. While he has been both a senator and a cabinet member under Obama, Salazar won’t be able to win Sanders voters or be very inspirational.

6. Thomas Perez (D-MD)
Sec. of Labor Perez is a liberal Hispanic who could win both minorities and Sanders voters. However, he has ridiculously low name recognition, little government experience, and no home state. He has high positives, but that would require getting past even bigger negatives.

7. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Brown is from Ohio, and could lock up that state. He’s also not very old and won’t anger Bernie voters. However (see note below) he’ll surely cost Democrats a senate seat, and he may not really want the job.

8. Mark Warner (D-VA)
Basically Kaine with less experience, more excitement, and lower name recognition.

9. Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Patrick would be a good pick, appealing to liberals and minorities like Perez. However, he currently works at Bain Capital and is pretty close to Wall Street, so Sanders voters might not like him. He also won’t win over any new states.

10. Julian Castro (D-TX)
If you’re paying attention to this at all, you’ll see Castro’s name floated a lot. However, he’s ridiculously young, not very popular in Texas, and doesn’t even speak Spanish (which Tim Kaine does, for whatever it’s worth). Castro has also said fairly controversial things about affirmative action and doesn’t have a very important cabinet position.

HM. Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
Who better to win Sanders voters than Bernie himself? However, he’s 74, über-liberal, from the safest state, and probably doesn’t get along with Clinton so well. It’s hard to see this becoming a reality.

Final thought: If the Democrats are closely fighting for Senate control, some of these sitting Senators would be likely replaced by Republicans. Hence, this is an argument against Booker, Warren, Brown, and even Sanders.


May 24
Trump 71%
Kasich 13%
Cruz 11%

This Week In World Elections

Austria: Far-right Norbert Hofer is going against Alexander van der Bellen for president of Austria. Results so far seem to favor Hofer, and he’ll likely be elected, albeit by a very slim margin, as mail-in ballots are yet to be counted. Said ballots should favor van der Bellen. This is the second round of the election. In the first round, Hofer won 35-21, requiring a runoff.

Cyprus: Election for the House of Representatives were today. 56 of the 80 seats were up for election. Averof Neophytou’s Democratic Rally Party held on to a plurality of seats, However, the opposition now holds double the seats of the DISY (Democratic Rally Party), so that will be a big challenge.

Vietnam: 500 members of the assembly were elected. However, Vietnam is a one-party state, so the Communist Party easily won with no opposition, so this is of minor consequence.

The next significant election is the second round of the Peruvian presidential election, in which the daughter of former leader and notorious tyrant Alberto Fujimori, Keiko Fujimori, attempts to solidify her large plurality secured in the first round. That will be on June 5th.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

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