November 7th, 2016:
Almost a week after once again being soundly defeated in the Presidential election, the Republican party is trying to pick up the pieces and asking questions of how it will be a viable national party in the future. Four years after losing an election they thought they could win against Barack Obama, this time the GOP had no illusions of winning going into election day as Hillary Clinton soundly defeated Marco Rubio 383-155 in the electoral college and by 8% in the popular vote. The first female President-elect, Mrs. Clinton and her running mate Brian Schweitzer were able to expand the electoral map for the Democratic Party, capturing Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and North Carolina after those states had voted for Romney in 2012. 2016 marked the second election in a row in which the Republican standard bearer could not win his own home state, with Rubio losing Florida. The Republicans did manage to win Vice-Presidential candidate Nikki Haley's home state of South Carolina.
Democratic Senate and House candidates rode the coattails of the Clinton-Schweitzer ticket to expand upon their majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. The Democrats picked up 5 seats in the Senate and 20 seats in the House. Of particular note were losses by Republican Senators John McCain, Chuck Grassley, and Rand Paul, and House members Michelle Bachmann and Paul Ryan. Notable victories by Democrats included Gabrielle Gifford's return to the House of Representatives.
I am extremely optimistic that President Obama is going to win. So I am allowing myself to envision his 2nd term and here is what I would like to see happen in it. I realize that many of these things may not be that realistic. I encourage anyone who reads this to add their own wishes in the comments.
- more liberal SCOTUS judges appointed as the retirements come
- legislation that reverses the effects of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision and strengthens campaign finance reform
- return of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting
- immigration reform
- Expansion of Medicare and/or a Public Option added to 'Obamacare'
- repeal of DOMA if the SCOTUS does not invalidate it
- New programs for small business loans, grants, or other kinds of funding for minority-owned businesses
- more student loan repayment and loan forgiveness options
- more/greater tax credits for hybrid and electric vehicle purchases
- new public works programs dedicated to alternative energy sources and environmental cleanup
- a greater commitment and investment in Space exploration. Land people on Mars within 10 years.
From Talking Points Memo:
There was a significant drop in audience between the second and third presidential debates, according to numbers released by Nielsen Tuesday. Around 59.2 million people watched Monday night's foreign policy-focused debate on TV, down from 65.6 million who tuned into the townhall debate at Hofstra University, which focused more on domestic issues.
More Americans watched Monday's debate than watched the third presidential debate four years ago. In 2008, 56.5 million tuned in to the final debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. Nielsen ratings do not include CSPAN or online viewers, but do include the broadcast networks plus Telemundo, Univision, Current TV and the cable news networks.
I am actually pleasantly surprised that the dropoff in viewership from the second debate wasn't even bigger - due to the baseball playoff game, Monday Night Football, and the assumption that there are less undecided voters now and perhaps some debate fatigue. Having almost 60 million people watch last night's debate is great news - that's millions more than I thought would have seen a weak, inconsistent, and uninformed Mitt Romney and a strong, knowledgeable President Obama.
From Talking Points Memo:
A majority of Americans who tuned in to Tuesday's town hall debate in Hempstead, N.Y. said President Barack Obama outperformed Mitt Romney, a new poll from Gallup released Friday shows.
According to the poll, 51 percent of debate watchers said Obama was the winner of the second debate, while 38 percent judged Romney the winner.
While that's a clear victory for the president, it's a much narrower margin than what Gallup showed in its poll following the first debate. A staggering 72 percent of Americans who watched that debate — held on Oct. 3 in Denver — said Romney was the winner, compared with only 20 percent who gave the edge to Obama. That made for the largest margin of victory in the history of Gallup's post-debate polling.
Gallup has just updated their 7-day head-to-head tracking poll and 3-day presidential approval poll. Obama is now +7 over Romney in the head to head poll against Romney, 50-43 (Romney dropping a point from yesterday).
In the Presidential Approval poll, President Obama picked up one point on the approval side and dropped one point on the disapproval side, sitting at 51-42 now.
Given the Romney implosion today .. who knows what this will look like in a week?
The Gallup 7-day tracker has just been updated and shows Obama 50, Romney 44. That's up from Obama 49, Romney 44 from the previous several days. This means that Obama must have had a strong polling day yesterday in the "horse race" poll.
This is President Obama's biggest lead in this poll since the April 21-26 period, when he led 50 to 43.
President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law today. It becomes effective immediately, making it a federal hate crime to assault people based on sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. The U.S. Justice Department will have expanded authority to prosecute such crimes when local authorities don't or won't. It will provide resources and training to local authorities in order to deal with these hate crimes. It will also direct the FBI to start identifying and tracking crimes committed against transgender people - the first measure ever enacted by the US government to protect transgender individuals.
Most of us on this site know that this will be an incredibly important election. As Democrats, we know that there are monumental challenges that lay ahead of us – such as ending the war in Iraq, restoring the reputation of America around the world, weaning ourselves off our dependence on diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, trying to halt impending climate change crises, dealing with poverty and the loss of jobs domestically, and dealing with starvation and disease internationally. We also know that this is a great opportunity, as the Republican Party appears to be as weak and vulnerable as it has ever been for the last several decades.
With the impending mathematical victory of Barack Obama in the race for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, and hopefully the end of the intraparty fighting and division that has marked this primary season, it’s a good time to remember what we’re all about as Democrats and Progressives.
I just wanted to point you all to this article on abcnews.com that discusses the excitement felt by people around the world concerning this presidential election in the USA – and particularly, for Obama.
Small World After All: Obama-Clinton Battle Stirs Global Debate
I'm only posting this because I haven't seen signs of what I expected to see after March 4th. I expected to see diaries about pro-Obama Kossacks caravanning to Pennsylvania or engaging in phone banking or fundraising campaigns. I expected to see a mass mobilization of the netroots in this state, because it is the battleground for the next 6 WEEKS. Anyone who supports Obama on this site needs to understand: a win in Pennsylvania is needed to seal the nomination and make sure it does not go to the convention. There will not a mass movement of superdelegates without that win. And right now, Obama is behind by 19 points in this state.
Read this article from the Chicago Reader published in 1995, and see if you don't come away from it as impressed as I was about how authentically progressive, sincere, and grounded this man is - and how consistent the Obama of 1995 is with the Obama of 2008. This guy really believes in the "new politics" that he's talking about and has been living it for over a decade. It's not "platitudes" and he's not an "empty suit." And to think that he has a great chance of actually being sworn in as president next January.