Archive for gotv

Heads up, Dems!

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Wisconsin Governor: Scott Walker (R), at 48%, is in a virtual tie with Mary Burke (D) 47%: Rasmussen Reports.

Democratic challenger Paul Davis is at 51%, beating Republican Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, who's at 41%: Rasmussen Reports.

Rasmussen has been described as a "conservative-leaning polling group."

Hey Wisconsin, remember this?

Hey Kansas, remember this?

what's the matter with kansas

Heads up, Dems! You know what to do: Help get as many people as you can registered and to the polls. Get out the vote. Without a huge turnout, without Democrats swarming to the ballot box, we cannot win.

It's up to you.

gotv don't complain vote

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"Absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for GOP"

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democracy setback

A report just came out from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. It confirmed what many of us already knew: that Americans are "staying away from the polls in droves." Not good, not good at all. The prediction is that the midterm primary elections will set record lows in voter turnout. "Who cares?" many of you may be asking. Well, per the Los Angeles Times, that would be a real setback for democracy:

Why does that matter? “It presents a danger to our society insofar as democracy does thrive on the consent and involvement of the governed,” said Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan election research center and a decades-long student of voter behavior. “Leadership needs some form of mandate.”

The study says a major factor in the low turnout is a sense of futility: congressional districts consciously drawn to favor one party or the other, which leave many voters wondering why they should bother participating when the outcome is preordained.

Got that? Gerrymandering is a major culprit. Scroll through our many posts on that subject.

gerrymander definition

To repeat, low voter turnout is bad for democracy... and usually bad for Democrats, specifically.

Adjacent to that article was another one about a different kind of setback. It has a somewhat encouraging title (key word: somewhat), No partisan wave building for fall elections, but GOP gains likely:

[F]or now, the absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for Republicans, who had hoped earlier this year that the unpopularity of President Obama's healthcare law would guarantee big gains for them.  [...]

The public's dismal view of Congress probably accounts for some of that lack of enthusiasm about voting.

That last sentence is an understatement, IMHO. Our own Sherry Hardy wrote a great post about that here, and I followed up here.

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

And from the Timing Is Everything Dep't., Steve Kornacki subbed for Chris Matthews on Hardball and treated us to his own "Let Me Finish" segment in which he opined on the long game for Democrats:

Kornacki:

Right now, at least, it doesn't look like a big Republican wave is building, and it does look like Democrats can at least hold their own this fall. And if they can do that, then it sets up the real battle in 2016...

In 2016, Republicans won't just get to take shots at the White House, they'll have to put up a candidate of their own. They'll have to write a platform of their own, run on an agenda that might not sit that well with most Americans. There could be a huge opportunity for Democrats...

2014 is important to [the Democrats], but 2016? That's the ball game.

You know what to do:

vote  turnout  gotv

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Black voters in South could play big role in midterm elections

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chris christie fear of black voters

Republicans don't treat black voters well at all. They disenfranchise them, they suppress their votes, they make it nearly impossible for them to get to the polls, they put up all kinds of obstacles to keep them from registering, and they do everything they can to make those Voter I.D.s they insist upon as inaccessible as possible.

Or as I like to call it, GOP outreach.

Thank you, Supreme Court, for your decision last year to gut the Voting Rights Act. How impartial of you.

Consequently, African American voters won't exactly flock to the Republican party any time soon. Nor will they be inclined to fill in a dot next to anyone with an R after their name on the ballot. Can the GOP be any more shortsighted?

Ironically-- with a twist of karma-- black Southern voters are about to play a prominent role in the November elections.

Via Nate Cohn for the New York Times:

Nearly five decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, black voters in the South are poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s midterm elections. If Democrats win the South and hold the Senate, they will do so because of Southern black voters. [...]

This year’s closest contests include North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia. Black voters will most likely represent more than half of all Democratic voters in Louisiana and Georgia, and nearly half in North Carolina. Arkansas, another state with a large black population, is also among the competitive states. [...]

If Democrats win this November, black voters will probably represent a larger share of the winning party’s supporters in important states than at any time since Reconstruction. Their influence is not just a product of the Senate map. It also reflects the collapse in Southern white support for Democrats, an increase in black turnout and the reversal of a century-long trend of black outmigration from the South... Southern black turnout today rivals or occasionally exceeds that of white voters.

You know what this means, right? Say it with me:

gotv 3

As Cohn reminds us, black voters played a big role in Thad Cochran's primary win against a tea party candidate. Please read his chock full o' info, background, and history article in full, here.

And then help everyone you can to register, and in November, to get to the polls. Swarm the polling places. Vote in droves. Use your voices. Because it doesn't do much good to have winning numbers without access to the ballot box.

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Poll-itics: SCOTUS approvals near lowest "in 14-year trend"

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poll-itics smaller SCOTUS

SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, what are we going to do with you? Well, here's an idea: Elect Progressive presidents who will replace right wing extremist Supreme Court justices (and other judges) who decide cases that are turning this country upside down.

This Supreme Court has:

  • ruled in favor of prayers in city council meetings (read: Christian prayers);
  • eliminated buffer zones around abortion and contraception medical centers in Massachusetts so that women can now be intimidated and threatened literally within an inch of their lives;
  • weakened unions by ruling that they could not force home-care workers to join them and pay dues;
  • and, of course, allowed Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses to decide what kind of birth control their employees could use based on their bosses' religious beliefs. Not the workers' beliefs, mind you, because apparently, corporate religion trumps that of the individual.

And don't get me started on Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions allowing corporate money to attempt to buy elections the way Willard "Mitt" Romney buys car elevators.

According to Gallup, this has affected the court's popularity. Democrats in particular are not too thrilled with this SCOTUS. If that's the case, you know what to do: Vote. In droves. Swarm the polls. Help to register other voters and get them to the ballot box, too.

gallup scotus

Gallup:

Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving. These ratings are consistent with approval last September, when 46% approved and 45% disapproved, and rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup's 14-year trend. [...]

Republican approval of the Supreme Court is up 21 percentage points since last September, from 30% in 2013 to 51%. Independents' approval shows little change, going from 47% to 46%. Support among Democrats, on the other hand, is down [...]

Americans' current views more closely reflect the court's own ideological divisions in these two recent decisions, rather than its bipartisan unanimity.

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Mainers Disenchanted with Governor LePage's Brand of Tea Loonacy

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opinionvfact
Being a native Vermonter (landlocked on all sides) the state of Maine is close to my heart, and a second home since I was in the womb. Literally.

My amazing other parents, the husband's folks, were kind enough to retire from New Jersey to the tiny town of Woolwich, Maine. [I know!!] So we've had a fascinating seat to see the gubernatorial hijinks and the fun and tragic congressional changes.

Teabagger LePage did one great thing, at least on a selfish level, he legalized the real deal professional fireworks and my Mom-in-Law got a proper display on her 80th … I got to light one of the breadbox-sized fancy ones, it was ridiculously fantastic.

comply

The good governor, however, with no disrespect to the actual mentally ill/those with genuine brain health ailments … is even crazier than the Bat-shite Category we usually save for Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Ann Fricking Coulter and Lippy Limpbaugh. Add LePage.

And no disrespect to Les Québecois, nous vous aimerons toujours içi , either, but he's got a clear streak of uniquely Gallic irrationality down deep in that there loonacy, Governor LePage.

Hence, the 2014 Governor's race is being bandied about about from Bangor through Bath and right on into Brunswick. There is plenty of Tea Party up there, but we'd be all day talking about that today, just take my word for it. [They couldn't legalize gay marriage beyond the shadow of a doubt the first time, 'nuff said about our friends to the northwest.] I'll let the Southern Poverty Law Center explain. He made their Hate Watch list.

gop fail streetcar named we're always wrong

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican elected in 2010 as a “Tea Party” candidate, admits that he held a number of meetings last year with leaders of an antigovernment sovereign citizens group, as revealed in a new book excerpt published this week.

But he now claims that the meetings were not an endorsement of the conspiracy theories and extremist politics that were discussed – rather, he was simply listening to his constituents.

ladylibertywinking

The political storm over LePage’s dalliances with far-right radicals broke on Monday when Talking Points Memo published a key excerpt from As Maine Went: Governor Paull LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine, a new book from political blogger Mike Tipping of Portland. The post described a series of eight meetings over nine months in 2013 that LePage initiated with members of the Constitutional Coalition, a sovereign citizens group based mostly in the state’s northern reaches.

Steve Kornacki on UP on messnbc gave a great glimpse into the interesting upcoming Maine gubernatorial contest on UP this weekend, have a gander and see if you don't find it a good climate for Progressive hopes.

The Tea Party will have a lot to answer for in Liberal Hell. Governor LePage will be in a front banquette, right in the fireworks section.

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Twofer: Hispanics aren't casting ballots; the political "news" media is MIA

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hispanics vote logo

I read the New York Times headlines every morning on my trusty New York Times app. When my barely-open eyes are able to focus, I link over to read the ones that grab me. Two very important headlines did just that, one about Hispanics, and one about the national "news" media:

Let's take them one at a time, starting with local journalists leaving beltway reporters in the dust with their mouths hanging open and their eyes popping out:

help!

All politics is local, which may explain why The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chesterfield Observer both took David Brat’s Tea Party challenge to Mr. Cantor seriously [...] Congressional races are a mess to cover because there are so many of them... The math of covering someone who may become one of only 100 senators is far easier. [...]

No one wants to stray from the white-hot center of power for fear of being stuck in some forsaken locale when something big happens in Washington — which is why it has become one of the most overcovered places on earth.

That Beltway provincialism is now multiplied by the diminution of nonnational newspapers. The industry as a whole is about half as big as it was in 2007, with regional newspapers suffering acute cutbacks. [...] Plenty of reporters are imprisoned in cubes in Washington, but stretched news organizations aren’t eager to spend money on planes, rental cars and hotel rooms so that employees can bring back reports from the hustings. While the Internet has been a boon to modern reporting ... it tends to pin journalists at their desks.[...]

The quants took a beating on this one, partly because journalists are left to read the same partisan surveys and spotty local reporting as Mr. Cantor’s campaign staff, whose own polling had him up by more than 30 points.

That made MY eyes pop out. Well, actually, it didn't. It did, however, reinforce what I already knew about news coverage, and that's pretty frustrating. So what it really did is made me do this:

banghead gif

On to Hispanics, another frustrating report, because it examines why they don't make it to the polls, what's preventing them, and how change is inevitable. Fortunately, this piece has a happier ending:

One reason is that no demographic group is more marginalized in American elections than Hispanics. Many are ineligible to vote, while those who can vote often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. [...]

The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. [...] Eligible Hispanics are also less likely to vote than other Americans. A big part of the reason is demographic: Hispanics are younger than other Americans, and voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds become significantly more likely to vote as they age. [...]

The power of Hispanic voters is further diluted by geography... Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in noncompetitive states and districts, diminishing their role in the most important races.[...]

Hispanics are earning more clout in presidential elections. It is in those elections, not in the fight for Congress, where Hispanics could ultimately force the hand of Republicans.[...] In time, the political underrepresentation of Hispanics will end. The Hispanic share of the electorate will steadily increase... But for now, Hispanic voters will struggle to get their voices heard.

Please link over and read the parts I left out. These are two very important articles that answer a few questions, pose a few more, and explain why so many of our heads are exploding on a daily basis.

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We'll get more of this if Republicans win in November

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victory is theirs Republicans win

Here's a quickie from Taegan that might cause a Progressives reading this post to wince, cry, and/or scream. It's not general election time, it's midterm election time, which does not always bode well for those of us on the left. The last headline we'd want to see would be, "Republicans win."

Unfortunately, some polls indicate that Republicans could gain more seats in the House and the Senate:

Another Poll Gives GOP Edge in Generic Ballot:

A new CNN/ORC International poll finds Republicans lead the generic congressional ballot among registered voters by 46% to 45%.

Key word: "Another." More than one. Gulp.

In this particular poll, it's a virtual tie, but you know what? It shouldn't even be close.

Here's another one to chew on: New Forecasting Model Sees GOP Winning Senate. I repeat:

gulp

Other polls contradict those, but the good old corporate media keeps pushing the Loser Dems talking point, which is not helping.

Americans often favor Democratic policies more than they do Republican ones. Take Obamacare, for example. Once the health care law is broken down into its components, or even referred to as the Affordable Care Act (omitting the dreaded O Word), voters approve.

The political pendulum swings back and forth, with one party gaining power, then back to the other and so forth. However, when it comes to midterm elections, ones in which there is no presidential candidate, Democrats stay home. Remember how we got "shellacked" in 2010? Turnout was down, and we lost big time.

When turnout is up, Democrats tend to win, Republicans tend to lose.

And low turnout is what is being predicted for November. We better learn from our mistakes. We better kick some ass and get people registered. We better kick bigger ass and get out the vote. Because if we don't, bad things happen. Things that are very hard, or even impossible, to undo. Things like this:

And those are just for starters.

Don't let the Republicans win in the coming election. Be pro-active. Tweet. Volunteer. Do whatever you can to motivate. It's the only way we can keep the Senate and make gains in the House.

Or...

We can expect more links like the ones above. Your choice.

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