Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 32: "Donald Trump Told A Really Hilarious Joke" (July 31, 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. Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 100

The DNC!
And this week, the Democrats countered with their own convention. Facing a 3-point Trump convention bump, Democrats had a reason to be slightly worried. They did have an advantage in that their entire party showed up (the same cannot be said for the Republicans), and objectively that entire party did a good job. It wasn’t a smooth ride - DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz agreed to resign, and was then heckled endlessly - but most people, Democrats and Republicans, agree that it helped unify the party and most speeches were great. Hillary’s own speech wasn’t amazing, but it did its job, and other speakers like Tim Kaine, the Obamas, Bill Clinton, and Cory Booker were very good. The nominating speech was, of course, delivered by Bernie Sanders.
Another important speech was Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Clinton, an important moment for swaying independents. The best received speech, however, was that of Khizr Khan, father of a Muslim soldier killed while serving in the military.

Hillary Endorsed by Houston Chronicle and Washington Post
In an unprecedented move, the Houston Chronicle, Texas’ biggest newspaper, endorsed Hillary Clinton. It’s a lot earlier than most newspapers would endorse, of course. Their reasoning for this was claiming Trump is a “danger to the republic”. The Washington Post similarly endorsed Clinton, writing a long essay of reasons why Trump shouldn’t be president. Read it here:

WikiLeaks Hacks DNC, Releases Emails
WikiLeaks’ hackers released thousands of DNC emails, a few of which insulted Bernie Sanders. explains it:
“Most of the emails showed routine campaign planning among senior DNC officials. The emails show some evidence of unseemly behavior by Democratic Party officials and at least one case where DNC officials discussed trying to undermine the Sanders. That has reopened a long-running debate about whether the DNC — which is supposed to be neutral during a primary campaign — was too favorable toward Hillary Clinton.”
WikiLeaks has been explicitly pro-Trump so far this election, but I doubt these emails will affect much, seeing how little was even in them.

Some More Outrageous Stuff Trump Did
-Trump threatened to skip the debates later this season because the schedules were “unfair”. He claimed that a debate overlapping with an NFL game was reason enough for him to warrant not showing up.
-Trump’s response to Khizr Khan’s speech was to comment on how Khan’s mother was “not allowed” to speak. I don’t have to mention that this is despicable and racist, but I will anyway.
-Following the DNC hack, Trump “jokingly” told Russia to find Clinton’s emails. Considering that Trump has been endorsed by Putin, this was not met as a joke, and even if it was a joke, it is neither funny nor reassuring.
-Besides Putin, Kim Jong Un also endorsed Trump.

Senate Preview #3

70-year-old Michael Blumenthal is seeking re-election. His opponent is Dan Carter, a State Representative. The election should be very easy for Blumenthal to win.

Rating: Safe D


Finally, a fun race. This election was supposed to be a pure tossup when incumbent Marco Rubio announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election. However, Rubio recently announced that he is running, and thus will make the race easier for the Republicans to win. His opponent will be either Alan Grayson, U.S. Representative with many scandals, or Pat Murphy, a more mild-mannered Representative. The race currently leans toward Rubio, but depending on the nominee and the presidential race, that could change.

Rating: Lean R


Johnny Isakson should very easily win re-election in Georgia, no matter how close the presidential race is. The Democratic nominee, Jim Barksdale, has no political experience and Isakson is very popular.

Rating: Safe R

This Week In World Elections

Next week is the Sao Toméan presidential election’s second round and the Thai constitutional referendum. I’ll go more into detail on them next week (both are scheduled for August 7th).

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 31: "Vote Your Conscience" (July 24, 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. Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 107

The RNC!
From Monday to Thursday last week, the Republican Party gathered in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio for the 2016 RNC. There were many great successes, and the most important part of it - Trump’s speech - was met well. That is not to say that there were no low points either. First, on Monday, there was a ton of chaos when the chair supposedly didn’t call a vote on the rules the right way, and the floor erupted into madness for many minutes. Ted Cruz, in his speech on Wednesday, refused to endorse Trump and told people to “vote your conscience” and was met with many boos.

Meet Tim Kaine: Clinton’s Vice Presidential Candidate

Much like her nomination, Clinton’s VP choice was anything but a surprise. Tim Kaine, Virginia Senator, was an 80% favorite for the choice on betting markets in the week leading up to the decision, but nonetheless, it’s news! Kaine hails from an important swing state (Virginia) and brings rock-solid liberal credentials and a good relationship with Clinton herself. The one downside is that many Bernie supporters may not view him as progressive enough, and may not vote in November for that reason.

What I said about Tim in May:
“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.”

Polling Outlook

Colorado: Clinton +8
Virginia: Clinton +5
Michigan: Clinton +5
New Hampshire: Clinton +4
Pennsylvania: Clinton +3
North Carolina: Clinton +2
Ohio: Clinton +1
Florida: Even
Iowa: Even

Electoral Vote Count:


Senate Preview #2

Incumbent John Boozman easily wrapped up his party’s nomination. He now opposes Attorney Conner Eldridge. Boozman got 58% of the vote in 2010, and polling shows he may get more this time around.

Rating: Safe R


Incumbent Barbara Boxer declined to seek re-election, and the jungle primary (in which the top two vote-getters, no matter the party, advance to the general) will feature two Democrats: Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez. Harris is currently favored.

Rating: Guaranteed D, Likely Harris


Michael Bennet, the incumbent, chose to seek re-election. He faces Darryl Green, El Paso County commissioner. This race could be very close, as Bennet won by under 2% in 2010. However, polling says otherwise.

Rating: Likely D

This Week In World Elections

Sao Tome and Principe: The Sao Tomean presidential election last Sunday ended in a resounding victory for Evaristo Carvalho, former Prime Minister, with him receiving 50% of the vote, meaning that there should’ve been no runoff necessary. Despite that, there will be a runoff between Carvalho and incumbent Manuel Pinto da Costa on August 7th.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 30: "Pence!" (July 17, 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. Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 114

The general election is now very close, and in the past three weeks a lot has happened. First,

Meet Mike Pence: Trump’s Vice Presidential Candidate

After my list of 10 possible choices for Trump, he went with Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), who didn’t cross my mind when making my list. For me, having been out of the loop for weeks, it was a surprising choice, but he was on the very short shortlist, along with Gingrich and Christie, so it’s not like he came out of nowhere. To pretend these choices will significantly alter the results is to lie to one’s self, but out of all the choices, this wasn’t the best. Sure, he may be from the midwest, but he doesn’t bring in establishment support, a demographic group, or very many positives. He’s not even from a swing state, just a state that borders Ohio.

Bullet Points:

-Clinton is not guilty of anything regarding emails
-Sanders endorsed Clinton, finally
-An innumerable amount of people - including Sarah Palin -won’t be at the RNC next week.
-The Republican National Convention starts tomorrow!

Senate Preview #1

Richard Shelby, five-term incumbent, is seeking re-election at the age of 82. His main opposition comes from an activist named Ron Crumpton. This race will be uninteresting, Shelby will pull a very, very, large amount of the vote.

Rating: Safe R


Lisa Murkowski, a two-term incumbent, is seeking re-election. Murkowski made news last cycle (2010) by being defeated in the primary and then coming back to win as an independent. And she may lose in the primary again (the primary is on August 16th). Her most notable challenger is mechanic Bob Lochner. On the Democratic side, the two main candidates are former Seward mayor Edgar Blatchford and former State Rep. Ray Metcalfe. Knowing Alaska, this race could turn close, but for now it seems Murkowski should win handily.

Rating: Safe R


The incumbent, John McCain, faces some hurdles in an attempt to get re-re-re-re-re-elected. He faces primary opposition from State Sen. Kelli Ward, and general election opposition from Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. Arizona will be a good opportunity for the Democrats to earn a surprise seat, but it’s not as likely to flip as some other states, so it’s unlikely that it will be the key to the 50th seat.

Rating: Lean R

This Week In World Elections

Sao Tome and Principe: The presidential election’s first round, between five candidates, including incumbent Manuel Pinto da Costa, is today. The run-off, if necessary, will be held on August 7th. Pinto da Costa won last election by 4,000 votes, over Evaristo Carvalho, a former Prime Minister who is also running this year.

What you missed over the past three weeks:

Australia: Coalition earned a slight majority, getting 50.34% of the vote, leading Labor by 8 seats.

Japan: Shinzo Abe’s liberal Democrats kept their majority in the house of councillors. They had 15% of the vote more than their nearest challenger, the Democratic Party.

Mongolia: The Mongolian People’s Party won 65 of the 76 seats to the Grand Hural.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!