Monday, January 6, 2020

Last Call For The Blue Wave Rises, Con't

Another month, another "How to win back Trump voters" article, but at least this time it comes from two political scientists and not the wishful thinking of white male pundits.

To understand the potential ramifications of Obama-Trump voters in 2020, it’s worth understanding how they voted in 2018. Among those who voted, three-quarters stuck with the Republican Party. But Democrats did win back about one-fifth of the Obama-Trump group in 2018, which would amount to a net swing of about 1.5 million votes. While the idiosyncratic governing style of Mr. Trump may have been one key factor in bringing Obama-Trump voters back into the Democratic fold, it wasn’t the only reason. It’s true that most Obama-Trump voters who stuck with the Republican Party in 2018 strongly approved of the job Mr. Trump was doing as president, but interestingly even half of those who flipped back to the Democratic side at least somewhat approved of Mr. Trump. Democrats won back a significant share of Obama-Trump voters not because those voters disliked Mr. Trump, but in spite of the fact that many actually approved of him.

Instead, these voters appeared to be drawn back toward the Democrats by some of the party’s bread-and butter-issues, and in spite of others. On issues like gun control, health care and the environment, these voters look remarkably like the Democratic Party’s base — those who voted for Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and a Democratic House candidate in 2018. Eighty-four percent of Obama-Trump voters who voted for Democratic House candidates in 2018 want to ban assault rifles, compared to 92 percent of the Democratic base. By contrast, 57 percent of Obama-Trump voters who stayed with Republicans in 2018 support an assault weapons ban (which has far less support among the Republican base).

Medicare for all is surprisingly popular among all Obama-Trump voters, but especially those who voted for Democrats in 2018. Eighty-three percent of those who switched back to the Democratic Party in 2018 support Medicare for all, nearly as high as the 93 percent support the policy achieves among the most solidly blue Democratic voting bloc.

These patterns show that Democrats can win back Obama-Trump voters by focusing on issues that also appeal to their base. Another such issue is climate change. Seventy-three percent of Obama-Trump voters who came back to the Democratic Party in 2018 oppose the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement; among those who stayed with the Republican Party in 2018, 74 percent support that decision.

Notably, the Obama-Trump voters who returned to the Democratic Party in 2018 look less like the Democratic Party base in other ways. A majority support building a border wall and Mr. Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. At the same time, two-thirds of these voters support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to receive deferred action on deportation.

They also have less progressive attitudes when it comes to race and gender. For example, less than half of these voters agree that whites have advantages because of the color of their skin, and an even smaller share think that feminists are making reasonable demands of men. These are your classic cross-pressured voters, aligned with Democrats on many policies that are part of the progressive wish list but likely to be turned off by the party’s rhetoric on identity politics.

Again, whenever anyone says "identity politics", substitute the correct term, "civil rights" and you'll see why Trump voters stuck with the Donald.  Luckily the column offers a much larger source of votes in 2020 that will not be put off by civil rights, and that's the people who stayed home in 2016.

Of course, another important group that will play a role in the 2020 election are the 2012 Obama voters who did not vote in 2016, the missing Obama millions. In 2018, Democrats regained some support among this group as well. About one-third turned out for the 2018 election, and Democrats won them 4 to 1. These voters looks much more like the Obama base than the Obama-Trump voters who supported Democrats in 2018. These remobilized Obama-nonvoters not only share similar views with the Democratic Party’s base on health care, gun control and the environment, but they also have similar views on immigration and share progressive views on race and gender relations.

Half of the remobilized Obama-nonvoters are people of color and more than 70 percent are women. Unlike the Obama-Trump voters who supported Democrats in 2018, the Obama-nonvoters appear to have been remobilized by their dislike of Trump — more than 80 percent reported that they strongly disapproved of the job he was doing as president. Strong disapproval of Mr. Trump was a strong predictor of Obama-nonvoters coming back into the electorate to vote for Democrats in 2018.

The story of Democratic success in winning back the House in 2018 seems to be driven by two patterns — the ability to win back some cross-pressured members of the Obama coalition who voted for Trump in 2016, while also remobilizing former Obama voters who failed to show up at the polls two years earlier. Progressive economic and climate views unite these two coalitions, while the groups are more divided when it comes to racial justice and gender equity. Both Obama-nonvoter-Democrats (92 percent) and Obama-Trump-Democrats (88 percent) support a $12 minimum wage and a millionaire’s tax (92 percent and 79 percent).

So yeah, it will be very possible to defeat Trump in 2020 by going with the issues, but also mobilizing Democratic voters to stop Donald Trump, and it doesn't have to come at the cost of support for civil rights.

Imagine that.

Another Day In Gunmerica, Con't

White supremacist militia groups like Oath Keepers are rallying around Virginia's Second Amendment movement and want to turn it into another Charlottesville hate rally, complete with armed terrorists calling for the death of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Gun rights advocates and militia members from around the country are urging thousands of armed protesters to descend on Virginia's capital later this month to stop newly empowered Democrats from passing gun-control bills.

What began as a handful of rural Virginia counties declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” has jumped the state’s borders and become an Internet phenomenon. Far-right websites and commenters are declaring that Virginia is the place to take a stand against what they see as a national trend of weakening gun rights.

Unlike blue bastions such as California and New York, Virginia is a former Confederate state with strong rural traditions and lax gun laws. Guns represent the strongest, reddest line against the demographic changes that have seen Old Dominion voters usher in a new era of Democratic leadership in recent elections.

And so a Nevada-based group called the Oath Keepers said it’s sending training teams to help form posses and militia in Virginia. The leader of a Georgia militia called Three Percent Security Force has posted videos and calls to arms on Facebook, urging “patriots” to converge on Richmond. The right-wing YouTuber “American Joe Show” warned without evidence that Virginia will cut the power grid to stop the army of protesters — one of a host of false and exaggerated rumors spreading online.

Law enforcement and public safety officials say they are monitoring the situation, including several instances of threats toward Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Even some gun enthusiasts expressed concern about the potential for violence at a rally planned for the state Capitol on Jan. 20. State police briefed Northam for two hours last week, according to one state official, and the governor plans to lead an all-staff meeting this week to go over increased security procedures.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, the grass-roots organization planning the rally, said it has told the state to prepare for as many as 50,000 or even 100,000 people showing up.
Police do not dismiss those projections. But at least so far, they have not seen indications that turnout will be that high.

“Do we look at these numbers seriously? It certainly behooves us to prepare for all possibilities,” Capitol Police spokesman Joe Macenka said.

Lawmakers said they have been in regular contact with state, city and Capitol police, and VCDL president Philip Van Cleave said he is keeping lines of communication open so all sides are prepared.

“Hopefully it’ll not be another Charlottesville,” Van Cleave said, blaming police and state planning for the violence that erupted during 2017’s Unite the Right rally around a Confederate statue. Counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people.

Van Cleave has appealed to his supporters not to come bristling with intimidating long guns — including assault-style rifles such as the AR-15 — and politely suggested that militia members are welcome but do not need to provide security. Police will take care of that, he said, “not to mention enough citizens armed with handguns to take over a modern midsized country.”

Or a decent-sized American state.

Just saying that 100,000 armed Oath Keeper and Three Percenter right-wing militia types ready to terrorize the city and maybe "water the tree of liberty" with the Governor's blood may be a serious problem.  Charlottesville got ugly -- and deadly -- with a fraction of that number.

This will not end without bloodshed.

Impeachment Reached, Con't

As predicted, Senate Republicans look to be making their move to proceed with and then dismiss Trump's impeachment articles outright, regardless of what Pelosi chooses to do.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham suggested Sunday that Republicans should try to change Senate rules governing impeachment if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to withhold the charges against President Trump — an unlikely 11th-hour bid to begin a trial within days without the actual documents.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was unequivocal in a Senate floor speech on Friday that “we can’t hold a trial without the articles; the Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that.” But Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump, floated the idea of a unilateral GOP move, saying he would work with McConnell to allow the Senate to proceed without the two charges against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The suggestion, while unlikely due to the high threshold of votes required for changing Senate impeachment rules, underscores the pressure some Trump allies feel as the president stews over the impeachment delay.

“Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage,” Graham said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” later adding: “My number one goal is [to] not let the speaker of the House become the majority leader of the Senate. . . . If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters [into] our own hands.”

Graham would need 67 votes to change Senate impeachment rules, so this is unlikely, but all indications are that this will move forward this week with some kind of deal between Schumer/Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.  However, the motion to dismiss the charges by GOP Sen, Josh Hawley is still in play, supposedly.

We'll see what today brings.


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