Monday, January 22, 2018

Last Call For The Beckies Come Around

I've taken white women voters to task before as being the group that made the difference in 2016 in giving Trump and the GOP power.  But if a new Washington Post poll is correct, white women now prefer the Democrats going into the 2018 midterms, and if it holds up, the GOP is looking at a bloodbath in November.

Strong support from women and independents is fueling Democrats’ large early advantage ahead of this year’s congressional elections, a sign that two groups that have recoiled from Donald Trump’s presidency will play a decisive role in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The ongoing government shutdown and rising economic optimism are just two factors that could shuffle preferences over the nine months before Election Day, with Republicans hoping to take more credit for economic growth and cast Democrats as anti-Trump obstructionists.

By 51 percent to 39 percent, more registered voters say they would support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district over the Republican. Democrats’ 12 percentage-point advantage on this “generic ballot” question is the largest in Post-ABC polling since 2006, although it is slightly larger than other polls this month.

That 12 point lead is certainly heartening, but it's the crosstabs that tell the real story: the GOP has lost women completely, even white women.

The Post-ABC poll finds Democrats holding a 57 percent to 31 percent advantage among female voters, double the size of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s margin in the 2016 election. Nonwhite women favor Democrats by a 53-point margin, somewhat smaller than Clinton’s 63-point advantage over Trump in 2016. But white women have moved sharply in Democrats’ direction, favoring them over Republicans by 12 points after supporting Trump by nine points in 2016 and Republican candidates by 14 points in the 2014 midterm election, according to network exit polls. 
Partisan loyalty is strong, with Republican and Democratic candidates garnering support from at least 9 in 10 of their fellow partisans, but self-identified political independents favor Democrats by a 16-point margin, 50 percent to 34 percent. The swing group has been decisive in three consecutive midterm election waves, backing Republicans by 19 points in 2010 and 12 points in 2014, but supporting Democrats by 18 points in 2006 as they retook control of the House. 

Independents strongly favor the Dems right now as well.  And as far as blame for the shutdown?  Americans blame Trump and the GOP 48-28% over the Democrats, with 18% saying both sides.  That means that even accounting for the both sides folks, less than half put some or all of blame on the Dems, while two-thirds blame the GOP in part or in whole for the Trump Shutdown.

The Republicans are in trouble and they know it.  Follow-up: FiveThityEight's Harry Enten finds that among all races and all political persuasions, Trump has a serous gender gap issue with women:

I expect this gap will only get larger in 2018.

Black Lives Matter, Con't

Prospect, Kentucky is a suburb of Louisville just north of the 265 loop near the river, about an hour from where I live.  It's a nice little town of 5,000 or so with broad streets and trees and good schools and oh yeah, a screamingly racist police chief who tells his new recruits that it's okay to shoot black kids for smoking pot.

A former assistant police chief for a Kentucky police department allegedly instructed a police recruit to shoot black minors if he were to catch them smoking marijuana, according to court documents.

In an Aug. 31 letter to Prospect, Kentucky Mayor John Evans, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell wrote that he has "serious concerns" about the then-assistant police chief Todd Shaw, who at the time was acting chief for the city of Prospect, a suburban city in the Louisville metropolitan area.

When senior Jefferson County prosecutors met with members of the Louisville Metro Police Department, they reviewed "highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook private messages" Shaw exchanged with a former LMPD police recruit, the letter states. The prosecutors were at the department to conduct an investigation to determine whether to file criminal charges against Shaw, O'Connell said.

The prosecutors found the messages while investigating a case in which Shaw allegedly tried to assist another officer by improperly accessing the National Crime Information Center database, his attorney in the criminal case, Nick Mudd, told ABC News. Prosecutors have dropped efforts file criminal charges against Shaw in that case, Mudd said, adding that he "did nothing wrong."

The Facebook messages of concern, which accompanied the letter O'Connell sent to Evans, occurred from September to October 2016, O'Connell said.

In the Facebook messages, Shaw and the recruit discussed a scenario for the recruit's training in which he had to write a paper on the "right thing to do" if he were to come across three juveniles who were smoking marijuana, O'Connell wrote. The recruit appears to have come to Shaw for advice, telling him, "I'm so confused about this paper," in the message, dated Oct. 5, 2016.

"F--- the right thing," Shaw allegedly wrote. "If black shoot them."

Shaw allegedly made other "racially threatening statements," which included instructions on "how to handle the juveniles' parents," according to the letter.

"...if mom is hot then f--- her," Shaw allegedly wrote. "...if dad is hot then handcuff him and make him s--- my d---."

Shaw allegedly continued, "Unless daddy is black...Then shoot him...

Lovely man, Mr Shaw.  He resigned back on November 20 but the story just made national news this weekend, probably because Shaw had been suspended back in September for interfering with the sex abuse probe looking into Louisville MPD abusing kids that were in its Explorer community relations program.

Oh, and don't go congratulating Prospect Mayor John Evans for firing Shaw, he's kind of a NIMBY asshole too especially when it comes to affordable housing.

So yeah, racist cops, still a massive problem in Kentucky.

Zee Germans Stay In It

The Merkel government barely avoided collapse on Sunday as the largest partner in Germany's government voted narrowly to stay in the current coalition and avoided snap elections...for now.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives start preparing for formal coalition talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday, wasting no time after the center-left party narrowly voted to go ahead following months of political deadlock.

At a nail-biter of a party congress, 56 percent of SPD delegates voted to pursue coalition talks with Merkel’s conservative bloc on the basis of a blueprint agreed earlier this month. 
That was a narrower margin than many analysts had predicted and could embolden the SPD’s leaders to negotiate harder in talks. 
Eyeing a fourth term as chancellor, Merkel wants the SPD to agree to a re-run of the ‘grand coalition’ that has ruled Europe’s economic powerhouse since 2013. 
She said she looked forward to intensive talks on forming a stable government and her priorities were preserving Germany’s economic strength and ensuring social justice and security. 
The SPD vote will be a relief to investors who worry that policymaking, both at home and in Europe, has ground to a halt. 
Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and the leader of Merkel’s Bavarian allies, Horst Seehofer, may meet on Monday and the full talks may start as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. 
Seehofer has said he expects a new government to be in place in the first half of March.

Of course, Merkel still has to actually get the SPD to agree to these talks, and they're going to come at quite a cost.  But a vote failure Sunday would have meant new elections without a government even being formed, and Merkel would have been done as a result.

Merkel gets one more chance this way, and we'll see if she can take advantage of it.


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