Archive for southern states

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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Three lessons and some hope for Democrats

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hope for Dems in red states map

obamacare is winning

Yesterday a few polls came out that gave Democrats some hope, because they showed that red state Democratic Senate candidates are still alive and kicking. Stick that in your musket and smoke it, conservatives. And just to rub salt in some very red wounds, it seems that Obamacare is aiding and abetting these numbers.

Last night, Chris Hayes did a segment on this very topic:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In today's Los Angeles Times, there is an article that is titled, "Senate polls offer three lessons and some hope for Democrats." The piece picks up where Chris Hayes and the polls left off.

Here are the three lessons that suggest that there is, indeed, real hope for Democrats, hope for victories in some very red states:

-- First, just as Democrats have been saying, their endangered incumbent in Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor, is doing better than analysts in Washington had believed.

-- This second one is my favorite: Despite all the attention they have received, the money poured into early campaign ads by the Koch brothers and conservative groups has made relatively little difference.

-- Third lesson: Although Obama’s standing in Southern states remains very low, Democratic governors in two battlegrounds — Arkansas and Kentucky — are far more popular. They are also more popular than Republican governors in North Carolina and Louisiana. [...] By contrast, Republican Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Pat McCrory of North Carolina got relatively low marks. Jindal won approval from 40% of his state's voters, with 54% disapproving. McCrory stands at 43% to 44%.

There is real potential here, so let's not waste it, Dems.

Details at the link.

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Poll-itics: Red state Democratic Senate candidates are still alive and kicking

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red state horror film

It's poll-itics time! And from the looks of the latest poll-itics numbers, we shouldn't count out red state Dems yet. According to four new non-partisan polls, Democrats vying for U.S. Senate seats are still in the running.

The Hill has the story:

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a top GOP target, leads Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) by 46 percent-36 percent in a live-caller poll conducted for The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Pryor's approval rating is at 47 percent with 38 percent disapproving, good numbers for any Democrat in a state as conservative as Arkansas.

You'd never know that by listening to the talking heads on the Tee Vee Machine. It's early yet, but still, the doomsdayers are out there doomsdaying. Meantime, Progressives should continue to get out there and help voters register. Then, come election day, we should all do what we can to get out the vote and help people to the polls.

Speaking of doomsday, I wonder how old Mitch McConnell's doing these days...

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also in a dogfight, according to the poll. McConnell leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) by 44 percent-43 percent in the heavily Republican state. McConnell's approval rating is at 40 percent with 52 percent disapproving.

The GOP has spent millions to defeat Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), but she leads her opponents by two points. And Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is ahead of Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) 42% to 18%.

While it would be a vast improvement to elect Progressives to replace the Blue Dog Democrats who are currently running, that's not in the cards.

So until that day comes-- say it with me now:

gotv 3

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"Access to medical care profoundly influenced by where you live. Citizens of Mississippi first, or of America first?"

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medicaid

During the Democratic convention, former President Clinton talked about Medicaid in his speech. He said, "You won't be laughing when I finish telling you this... [The GOP wants to] "block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that's going to really hurt a lot of poor kids."

L.A. Times's Michael Hiltzik went even further in one of his columns, reminding us that Medicaid "serves the poorest and sickest Americans, those with the fewest healthcare options.... In many cases their financial health depends on Medicaid." But because of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, the governors of six Southern states say they are rejecting expansion of Medicaid, a controversial part of that law.

We should not leave Medicaid, or medical care in any way, vulnerable to "State's Rights." Like Medicare, Medicaid should be federally controlled and dispersed.

Sadly, race is a factor, as it so often is in the South. This obviously has national implications, especially considering the recurring congressional GOP hostage-taking and out of control GOP governors and state legislatures.

The letter below is a strong argument, one we should embrace. It was written by Michael Petit, Founding President of Every Child Matters Education Fund. Previously, he served as Commissioner of Maine’s Human Services Department and was Deputy Director of the Child Welfare League of America. He was a delegate to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Helsinki, Finland.

So today's letter to the editor comes from the New York Times, because as always, our voices matter:

Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law” (front page, Oct. 3) reminded me of my discovery 35 years ago — shortly after being appointed commissioner of Maine’s Health and Human Services Department — that states had wide latitude in shaping their Medicaid programs. Income eligibility, scope of services and reimbursement rates were largely left to the states to determine. Generally, the Northern-tier states opted for more generous benefits and the Southern states for fewer. Just like today.

Geography matters, with access to medical care profoundly influenced by where you live. Are citizens of Mississippi citizens of Mississippi first — or citizens of America first? Would the states even need to be involved if an efficient way could be found to treat all citizens equally from coast to coast, allowing them the same medical benefits wherever they live? Actually, for those over 65, it’s been done already and is called Medicare.

MICHAEL PETIT
President, Every Child Matters
Washington, Oct. 3, 2013

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Southern states, some of the poorest, block Obamacare because ???

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From our good friend @anomaly100 at FreakOutNation:

The main opposition to Obamacare comes from Southern states, including from Governors who lead some of the nation’s poorest and unhealthiest states. It’s a GOP trend. We see the same thing happening with badly needed clinics being forced by Republicans to close down in rural areas in Southern States, even in states where Planned Parenthood does not offer abortion services, yet those same states have the highest teenage pregnancy rates. The reasoning behind this is a strong distrust of Obama, mostly from areas that supported the Tea Party, where the President was tagged a Muslim- Atheist-Socialist -Marxist. (It’s not as if we didn’t notice.)

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Gov. Nikki Haley said in contrast to Republicans deciding to implement Obamacare in their state, “Not in South Carolina, she said at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. “We will not expand Medicaid on President Obama’s watch. We will not expand Medicaid ever.”

More at FreakOutNation

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The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad GOP dissension-slash-implosion

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gop terrible horrible no good very bad year

Without even trying, I ran into four-- count 'em, four!-- different articles about how the Republican party is completely full of... dissension. They are imploding before our very peepers, and the whole wide world is watching.

Here are the four pieces I stumbled upon. Enjoy!

First, via my morning L.A. Times, an analysis by Paul West that he titled, Republican Party divide increasingly a matter of region. In it he writes about how the southern states, where the GOP base is entrenched, is increasingly divided from the rest of country:

The budget battles rocking the capital have exposed a deepening fault line within an already fractured Republican Party: the divide between the GOP's solid Southern base and the rest of the country. [...]

Few would dispute that the battle over the fiscal cliff and internecine sniping over Superstorm Sandy aid left Republicans in Washington deeply divided at a time when the party is still trying to recover from a presidential election defeat that many did not see coming.

do go on 1

Why sure! Who am I to refuse a fascinated cat? That brings us to the Washington Post:

There are early signs of division within the Republican Party over how to approach the upcoming debate over raising the federal debt ceiling.

On Friday, a top Senate Republican signaled that members of his party should be prepared to play hardball and be willing to accept the kind of consequences in each previous fight they’ve threatened but managed to avoid.

But other Republicans counseled caution, warning that pressure from the business community and the public to raise the $16.4 trillion federal borrowing limit renders untenable any threats not to do so and will weaken the GOP’s hand if their stance is perceived to be a bluff.

do go on 3

Of course! There will be no cliff hangers in this post. Next up, the New York Times:

From Mitt Romney’s loss on Election Day through the recent tax fight that shattered party discipline in the House of Representatives, Republicans have seen the foundations of their political strategy called into question, stirring a newly urgent debate about how to reshape and redefine their party.

At issue immediately is whether that can be achieved through a shift in tactics and tone, or will instead require a deeper rethinking of the party’s longtime positions on bedrock issues like guns and immigration. [...]

The coming legislative battles are certain to expose even more division in the party. And with establishment Republicans and Tea Party activists at times speaking as if they are from different parties altogether, concern is spreading throughout the ranks that things could get worse before they get better. [...]

But a changed tone alone may not do enough to smooth over the very real disagreements in the Republican Party. And it is not clear how the intraparty combatants can meet in the middle.

All together now: Aww.

aww tiny violin poor you

But wait! There's more!

do go on 2

Well, okay, if you insist. We'll wrap it up with this. Roll Call reveals that the Boehner coup attempt was larger than first thought. Can you spell i-m-p-l-o-s-i-o-n?

A concerted effort to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner was under way the day of his re-election to the position, but participants called it off 30 minutes before the House floor vote, CQ Roll Call has learned.

A group of disaffected conservatives had agreed to vote against the Ohio lawmaker if they could get at least 25 members to join the effort. But one member, whose identity could not be verified, rescinded his or her participation the morning of the vote, leaving the group one person short of its self-imposed 25-member threshold. Only 17 votes against Boehner were required to force a second ballot, but the group wanted to have insurance.

Bonus! Conservatives Annoyed by Christie!

All in all, 2013 promises to be an interesting, if not schadenfreude-filled year in politics.

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GOP faces unexpected challenges in South amid shrinking white vote

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President Obama, our first black president, fared better in the South than any other Democratic nominee has in 30 years. So much for those who say he hasn't accomplished anything. The Southern white Republican base may be in need of a Southern white Republican boost. WaPo:

Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi -- despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states.

Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the demographic crisis facing Republicans among Hispanic voters, particularly in Texas. But the results across other parts of the South, where Latinos remain a single-digit minority, point to separate trends among blacks and whites that may also have big implications for the GOP's future.[...]

[P]owerful forces in the region are clearly eroding GOP dominance. The trends pose difficulties for a Republican Party that has been shifting toward Dixie since the “Southern strategy” of the Nixon era, which sought to encourage white flight from the Democratic Party.

According to one pollster who helped analyze swing states for Team Obama, “They also have a problem with whites, in this election cycle, just showing up.”

Even trying to use President Obama’s support for abortion rights and gay issues against him didn't work:

Black pastors — some of whom had preached against gay marriage in the past — rallied to the president.

Not to mention African Americans turned out and voted for the president in droves.

So the new line that I keep hearing and reading is how the Republican party will have to force themselves to be more inclusive of minorities and women, because, clearly, they can't win without them.

But see, Republicans don't seem to want to truly understand and empathize with the needs and predicaments of these voting groups. It's all about acquiring the votes, the numbers, the Big Win, not caring for their fellow Americans as, you know, people.

What oh what will they do about the tea party’s (persistent, stubborn) willful blindness? They still "hope to weed out Republicans they consider insufficiently conservative." Which means, at least to tea baggers, women's rights and gay rights are still off the table, undocumented immigrants will still be referred to as "illegals," God's intentions still include rape births, and African American voters will still have to jump through hoops in order to simply cast a ballot.

Meanwhile, they can fake-like the very people for whom they show such utter disdain, because as Bobby Jindal said, “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.”

White on, er, right on, GOP!

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