Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election

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  1. SueEllenRules!

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    Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special elyection
    Republicans have deployed the full machinery of the party to avoid defeat in the final special election before the midterms.

    WESTERVILLE, OHIO — The entire Republican Party machinery has converged on this suburban Columbus district for a furious eleventh-hour campaign aimed at saving a conservative House seat and averting another special election disaster.

    But in the final days ahead of Tuesday's election, signs were everywhere that Democrats are surging — from recent polling to the private and public statements of many Republicans, including the GOP candidate himself. The district has been reliably red for more than three decades, but the sheer size of the Republican cavalry made clear how worried the party is about losing it.

    At a Saturday evening rally, President Donald Trump tried to juice conservative excitement for mild-mannered Republican candidate Troy Balderson while foisting a Trumpian nickname upon 31-year-old Democratic hopeful Danny O’Connor: “Danny boy.” Earlier in the week, Vice President Mike Pence made the trek, while Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. recorded a robocall, and Gov. John Kasich endorsed Balderson in a TV ad.

    The Republican National Committee has opened two offices in the district, launched a $500,000-plus get-out-the-vote effort, and dispatched one of its top officials, Bob Paduchik, who ran Trump’s 2016 Ohio campaign. And outside conservative groups, led by a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, have dumped more than $3.5 million onto the TV airwaves, far outpacing Democrats.

    The all-out push underscores the GOP’s trepidation about the final special election before the midterms. A loss, following startling Republican defeats in Pennsylvania and Alabama, would offer more evidence that a blue wave is on the horizon. And it would further fuel fears of what’s becoming evident: that Democrats are simply more amped up, even in areas that have long been safely Republican.

    As he addressed volunteers gathered in a campaign office on Friday afternoon, Balderson, a 56-year-old state legislator, hinted at the enthusiasm deficit that was plaguing his party. A Monmouth University poll last week had him ahead of O'Connor by a single percentage point, 44 to 43.

    “You all know, it’s a tight race. And everybody wants to know, why is it tight? Why is it tight?” he said. “Because this race is all about turnout.”

    With Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Paduchik at his side, Balderson told the volunteers that “there’s been some talk about us not really getting out there and not working,” though he assured them their efforts were not being overlooked.

    “We know what you’re doing, we know the doors you’re hitting, we know the phone calls you’re making,” he said.

    Republicans contend that their mobilization headaches are being compounded by the unusual timing of the race. Many voters are on vacation or going about their summers and unaware of the special election.

    With that in mind, White House officials, who have been watching the contest with growing worry, dispatched Trump to the district in the hope he can fire up conservatives who might stay home on Tuesday. The president, who advisers said was eager to jump into the special election, lavished praise on Balderson while also offering up a greatest-hits like collection of attacks on the media, political rivals and the Russia investigation.

    “I think what it does, perhaps most importantly, is it raises the profile of the race,” said Portman, who bemoaned the timing of the August election. “If you were to walk over to the Kroger here and ask people, ‘Is there a race? You know, is there a congressional race going on?’ Ninety percent of them would say, ‘What are you talking about?’”

    The event was also designed to unify Republicans around Balderson, who narrowly survived a bruising primary fight against Melanie Leneghan, a Trump-aligned local official. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative House Freedom Caucus member and Leneghan backer, was in attendance, and the rally was held in Delaware County, where Leneghan is from.

    Yet the president's fly-in carried considerable risk. Like dozens of other suburban districts around the country, Ohio’s 12th is filled with higher-income and upper-educated voters who have soured on the president, and some party officials are worried that the boisterous rally could turn those voters away from Balderson. The Monmouth poll showed Trump's approval rating in the district at just 46 percent. Trump received 52 percent of the vote in the district in 2016.

    Those worries intensified on Saturday morning when, just hours before the rally, Trump took to Twitter to attack NBA legend LeBron James, an Ohio favorite son who recently opened a charter school for at-risk youth.

    Fearful of losing critical suburban voters turned off by the president’s rhetoric, Balderson has worked to cultivate the support of Kasich, a moderate figure and fierce Trump critic seen as a potential 2020 primary challenger to the president. During a recent phone call aimed at securing Kasich’s endorsement, Balderson assured the governor that he shared his opposition to Trump’s tariffs and family separations at the border, and told him that he’d be willing to buck leadership, said a person familiar with the conversation.

    Unlike many other Republicans running this year, Balderson has avoided mentioning the president in general election TV ads; he has, however, highlighted work he’s done with Kasich. The governor, who formerly held the House seat, did not attend the Trump rally.

    Jay Hottinger, a friend of Balderson's who serves alongside him in the state Senate, described Trump as “one of the most divisive presidents and political figures we’ve ever had” but said his visit was crucial for generating conservative interest in the contest.

    “What we are seeing in polling, both nationally and in the 12th Congressional District, is that Democrats are more motivated to go out and vote,” he added.

    In the minds of many Republicans, Tuesday’s contest has emerged as a critical test of whether they can win over Trump supporters while keeping moderates in the fold — and whether Democrats can succeed in the type of suburban districts they need to win the House.

    “Up until now, these special elections have been highly overhyped. This special [election] is different, it’s truly an accurate reflection of where both parties’ bases are, as we leave the calm and head into the general election storm,” said Nick Everhart, an Ohio-based GOP strategist who is working on races across the country but is not involved in this one. “This election outcome is not overhyped, and it matters maybe more than the hype.”

    O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, is casting himself as an above-the-fray, middle-of-the-road figure. He has mostly avoided going after the president and instead focused on issues like entitlements, warning that Balderson wants to scale back Social Security benefits.

    Campaigning with his parents at a Delaware street festival on Friday, O’Connor was asked by a supporter about Trump's alleged extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. The candidate changed the subject.
    “It’s not a big deal to folks,” O'Connor said, when asked how voters in the district feel about the president. “People care more about the bread-and-butter stuff that keeps them up.”

    But as the commander in chief prepared to venture to central Ohio, O’Connor couldn’t help but revel in his newfound momentum. At one point, he was stopped by a friend who congratulated him and told him that Republicans were “nervous.”

    The fact that Trump was coming, O’Connor said, was proof that “Troy Balderson needs D.C. to bail him out.”


    Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election - POLITICO https://apple.news/A_hFAvEPKRmu_6kXDqwCUww
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  2. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

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    Republicans by not impeaching and removing trump after he fired comey because of Russia are causing all their losses and problems. If republicans had all agreed to impeach and remove trump may of 2017 everything would be amazing for the Republican Party. Pence would be president. There would be regular republican orthodoxy in power. Koch brothers philosophy. Never a family separated policy, never a Charlottesville scandal, never a putin meeting scandal, just regular normal time in America. Why didn’t republicans do impeachment and removal after trump fired comey? Worst mistake in American political history. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell both uniting for impeachment and removal of trump? Overwhelming American support.
     
  3. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Addict

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    So you're telling me that huge tax cuts for the rich, a bloated military budget, unnecessary wars, harsh immigration policies, the proposed gutting of healthcare and social safety nets, and illegal surveillance aren't examples of regular Republican orthodoxy? Pence is a bigoted religious zealot who wants to overturn gay marriage and Roe v. Wade, and the Koch brothers lobby for policies that benefit the rich. The idea that the country would be in "normal times" under the leadership of any Republican other than Trump is simply asinine from a policy perspective. Many consider George W. Bush a "normal" Republican compared to Trump, yet he rounded up immigrants, started an illegal war, and trampled on civil liberties.
     
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  4. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

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    I don’t remember bush rounding up immigrants. He was extremely desperate for a total reagan like amnesty. He got 50% of Hispanic vote because he loved immigrants. You are right with the other two but democrats and republicans cause horrible wars. Clinton in Yugoslavia and obama in Libya so wars are what presidents do.
     
  5. SueEllenRules!

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    3 winners and 2 losers from the August 7 primary and special elections
    Danny O’Connor, Gretchen Whitmer, and the rest of Tuesday’s primary election results.

    Democrats very nearly won an Ohio House special election they had no business winning, so they are, you might say, winners and losers all at once in the August 7 elections.

    The Ohio 12th Congressional District had been red for 35 years, but Democrat Danny O’Connor almost won it Tuesday over Republican Troy Balderson, who appeared to have eked out a 1-point win when almost all the votes were counted on Tuesday night.

    Elsewhere, progressives came up short in the Michigan Democratic primary election, and a black woman from Detroit was elected to replace a now-resigned lawmaker who was accused of sexual misconduct.

    The O’Connor showing in the Ohio 12th can still give Democrats hope that the “blue wave” could be real. This is a district that, on its surface, should not be competitive. It’s gerrymandered to protect against it, in fact. Donald Trump won it by 10 points.

    If Democrats can (almost) win here, they can win in a lot of places. They need 24 seats to take the House, and they could win some of them in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Kansas.

    Winner (and loser): centrist Democrats

    [​IMG]
    Democrat Danny O’Connor lost the Ohio 12th Congressional District special election on Tuesday, but will try again in November.

    Danny O’Connor very nearly won in his bid to repeat Conor Lamb’s Pennsylvania performance earlier this year — and election watchers weren’t quite ready to call the race with provisional and absentee ballots still needing to be counted. But as of press time, it looked like O’Connor was behind.

    His campaign was pretty explicitly modeled on Lamb’s. O’Connor distanced himself from Washington Democrats, hit Balderson for Republicans proposal to cut Medicare and Social Security, and campaigned on defending Obamacare. He also, like Lamb, said he would not back Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

    Who knows how much of O’Connor’s performance is him versus the anti-Trump atmosphere — I talked to voters in the district who seemed more focused on electing someone to oppose the president — but this is still a moral win for the people like O’Connor arguing that the Democratic Party can still be a big tent that spans from centrists like him to democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is all but assured to win her heavily Democratic district this fall.

    For now, a lot of Democratic activists and voters don’t want to worry about the ideological divisions within their party; they just want to win. The challenge will come if Democrats win the House in November and actually need to advance an agenda.

    But that is a problem I think most Democrats would be happy to have.

    Loser: the left

    The left has had a good 2018, don’t get me wrong. But Abdul El-Sayed’s second-place finish in the Michigan Democratic governor’s primary — even after a highly publicized appearance days before the election with superstar Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders — wasn’t its best moment.

    Meanwhile, down south in Ohio, a moderate Democrat who explicitly rejects lefty priorities like Medicare-for-all, “Abolish ICE,” and tuition-free college, very nearly won a House district Republicans have held for 35 years. Progressives have made gains this year, compared to the past, but the moderate message still seems to have a place in certain areas.

    To pour salt in the wound, a Green Party candidate actually got more votes than the margin between O’Connor and Balderson.

    Right now, it’s easy to imagine a House Freedom Caucus-size lefty caucus if things break right for Democrats. But that kind of support for the democratic socialist policies can have only so much effect, unless progressives start breaking through in more primaries.

    Winner: Donald Trump

    [​IMG]
    President Donald Trump speaks at a rally to show support for Ohio Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson last weekend.

    Trump flew out to Ohio to campaign for Balderson at the last minute and tweeted his support several times. Given the narrow margin of victory, the president can (and quickly did) call it a win for him — though it was closer than it should have been, and that was also probably thanks to him.

    [​IMG]
    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.
    10:59 PM · Aug 7, 2018

    And as Vox’s Tara Golshan reported, part of Balderson’s win might be credited to Republicans’ running of their last-minute playbook based on their tax bill — Trump’s signature policy accomplishment, if his only substantive one.

    Winner: Michigan Democratic women

    Gretchen Whitmer beat two male candidates in the Michigan Democratic governor’s primary. Women also prevailed in Michigan Seventh, Eighth, and 11th Democratic primaries, including, in the latter race, Haley Stevens, who got a last-minute endorsement from Hillary Clinton in the 11th District’s crowded primary.

    And after longtime Rep. John Conyers was forced to resign over sexual misconduct allegations, Barbara Jones, the Detroit City Council president, won the Michigan 13th’s special and regular primary elections to replace him on Tuesday.

    Jones beat Ian Conyers, a state senator and the outgoing Conyers’s great-nephew (so by proxy, the Conyers family loses). It’s another win for a woman in a Democratic primary election where her main rival was a man.

    There were technically two primary elections on Tuesday: one to finish Conyers’s term through January and the other for the 2019 term. Jones won both of them, so she’ll be in Congress for a while, along with what could be a record number of women.

    3 winners and 2 losers from the August 7 primary and special elections - Vox https://apple.news/A_1Vh2ITnTQqIxQ9VBMduew
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  6. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Addict

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    And yet ICE was created during his administration in 2003. Here's a couple excerpts regarding how illegal immigrants were treated after 9/11:

    The attacks of Sept. 11 helped deepen the government’s conflation of national security, counterterrorism and immigration enforcement. Creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), President George W. Bush and Congress moved immigration management from the Justice Department to the DHS, signaling a major institutional shift in how the United States thought about immigration, clearly framing it as a security issue.

    In the post-Sept. 11 atmosphere, ICE, then a new agency, set out an ambitious and opportunistic agenda. Titled “Endgame,” the strategic plan for ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal set as its goal 100 percent “removal” of all “removable aliens.” Grandparents and children, business owners and colleagues, students and caregivers: All became the targets of ICE. - Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...on-bush-and-obama-too/?utm_term=.635831443a46

    Here's an excerpt about Robert Mueller's role in rounding up immigrants after 9/11:

    In the aftermath of the attacks, Mueller directed the “post-9/11 round-up” of around 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (NYC area) at the wrong time, as FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially PR purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI “progress” in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists. - Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...obert-mueller-and_us_5936a148e4b033940169cdc8

    No argument here. Many Democrats are just as awful as Republicans on a variety of issues, most notably war.
     
  7. Frank Underwood

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    The reach of the "moderate message" has lessened greatly, and that will continue over time as progressives get out their message. Polls show the momentum is behind "lefty priorities."

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  8. SueEllenRules!

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    Democrats are losing this race. And they're thrilled about it.
    The party — and even some Republicans — say the results in Ohio suggest the GOP will have trouble holding onto its House majority this fall.

    [​IMG]
    Danny O'Connor speaks during an election night watch party in Westerville, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2018.

    WASHINGTON — There are zero second-place finishers serving in Congress and Danny O’Connor, the Democrat in Ohio's high-profile special election Tuesday, finished second.

    But Democrats say the result is making them feel more bullish than ever about their prospects to flip the House in November.

    "I have never been more confident that we will take back the House," said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    And O'Connor could still make it to Washington, even if he can't close the 1,754 vote deficit against Republican Troy Balderson (thousands of provisional and absentee ballots have yet to be counted, making it too close to call). He'll have another shot in a November rematch, when students will be back on campus at Ohio State University and turnout is expected to be higher.

    But Democrats don't need O’Connor to win this fall.

    There are 68 and 79 GOP-held congressional districts that are more competitive than where O'Connor and Balderson are running — and Democrats need just 23 to take the House from the GOP.

    Most of those seats would turn blue if they swung as much as Ohio’s 12th did on Tuesday.

    "Nothing that happened on Tuesday night suggests that the environment is improving for Republicans. They barely held a traditionally GOP seat in Ohio," said Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, who added that other results showed "a House playing field that is expanding, not contracting."

    But don’t take his word for it, just listen to this Republican pollster.

    [​IMG]
    Frank Luntz‏ @FrankLuntz
    I’m sure Republicans will celebrate tonight, but a 1-point victory in that district is nothing to commend. #OH12

    The GOP have to do something really significant in September if they want to keep the House in November.

    Frank Luntz Retweeted GOP:

    GOP @GOP
    Congratulations, @Troy_Balderson!
    [​IMG]

    8:04 PM - 7 Aug 2018

    President Donald Trump can rightly tout the scoreboard, which shows the GOP winning six out of seven competitive congressional special elections this cycle.

    But the margins in those races tell another story.

    O’Connor topped Hillary Clinton's performance in the district by more than 10 percentage points, and he beat the district's underlying partisan tilt by about 13 points.

    That's in keeping with what has happened in every other special election of the past two years, including in dozens of state legislative races.

    "Imagine what will happen if these trends continue in November in districts where Republicans already were facing a challenge," said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "As of right now, our polling suggests that's exactly what the landscape will look like."

    All the congressional special elections have played in out deeply conservative districts that Democrats were not able win (with the exceptions of victors Rep. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama) even with those swings. But the map will be much more favorable for Dems in November.

    In Ohio’s 12th, for instance, Trump won by 11 percentage points. The last Republican to represent the district won it by 36 percentage points less than two years ago. And, aside from one two-year term in the early 1980s, it's been held by Republicans since 1939.

    At the same time, there are 25 Republicans who represent districts that Clinton won, and 79 who hail from districts where Trump got a smaller vote share than he did in Ohio's 12th.

    And there were more bad omens for Republicans in other states that held elections Tuesday night.

    In Eastern Washington, a Democrat nearly surpassed Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers — the fourth-ranking Republican in the House — in the state's top-two primary system, while two other Republicans looked unexpectedly weak.

    Two of those districts were on Democrats' radar, but the third was not. And the fact that Democrat Tom Foley was ousted from the very district in the 1994 Republican wave while he was speaker of the House may add to the sense of foreboding for Rodgers, even though she is still favored to win this fall.

    In Kansas, Democratic turnout more than doubled from 2014, the most recent midterm year, in the statewide gubernatorial primary (152,0856 in 2018 versus 66,857 in 2014) and nearly tripled in the competitive 3rd Congressional District (61,321 in 2018 versus 20,713 in 2014).

    And in Michigan, more Democrats voted in Tuesday's gubernatorial primary — 1,122,700 with a few precincts still out — than any primary in the past 18 years, according to the secretary of state's office.

    Of course, the political landscape could change drastically before November, and if the 2016 election taught us anything it's that even strong data can lead to wrong conclusions.

    But right now, experts in both parties don't see that happening.

    "I've worked in Ohio presidential and senate races for Republicans and the idea of (Ohio's 12th) being a close race is sort of like hearing gravity is a regional phenomena," former top Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens said on Twitter. "It's not how the world is supposed to work."

    Democrats are losing this race. And they're thrilled about it. - NBC News https://apple.news/Atwo5KVvnQrSDXeKEedHgeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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