Archive for southern states

Black voters in South could play big role in midterm elections


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.


Three lessons and some hope for Democrats


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 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.


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


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


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



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.

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