By Doug Porter
The presidential contest is looking increasingly bleak for the Grand Old Party, with even Karl Rove saying things are not looking good for the Donald.
The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds nearly one in three Republicans expect a Clinton victory in November, nearly double the percentage who thought that a week ago. The same poll has 81% of Democrats agreeing with that assessment.
The question both parties are asking is whether or not voters will be willing to split ballots. Some Democrats are even dreaming of their party retaking the House of Representatives.
It’s a long shot, given that incumbents historically have a 95% chance of re-election. An article in the Washington Post explains how such an upset could occur.
This unusual election year, however, raises another possibility: the very strategy that Republicans used to secure Congress could backfire. Their “great gerrymander” could become another “great dummymander.”
After the 2010 Census, the Republican Party put in motion its plan to redraw congressional districts more favorable to conservative candidates. Whereas bipartisan gerrymandering creates safe districts for both parties, the GOP undertook partisan gerrymandering, which packs the other party’s voters into as few districts as possible and spreads out the gerrymandering party’s voters across many districts, each of which that party can win but often by uncomfortably narrow margins.
Realistically speaking, Democrats would have to win the popular vote by more than eight points for such a political reversal to happen. But hey, anything is possible.
A Fire Hose of #Fail
Time Magazine has a terrific account of how the Trump campaign continues to fail.
For Republicans loyal to the party but scornful of their nominee, the Trump campaign was increasingly becoming a moral conundrum. As if to goad them, Trump even began to call the integrity of the American democratic process into question. “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” he said in Ohio. “I have to be honest.”
On Aug. 9 in North Carolina, he appeared to go even further. In an errant aside, he said the only remedy to a more liberal Supreme Court under a President Clinton would be Second Amendment supporters. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said, before shifting his tone. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” Critics pounced, saying those words could spur a fanatic to endanger Clinton’s life. The Secret Service, which investigates threats against its protectees, said it was aware of the remark. Trump responded by arguing that he was simply encouraging activists to exercise their political power at the polls and blamed the press for misinterpreting his words. Ryan, the highest-ranking elected Republican, said it sounded like”a joke gone bad.”
At Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, aides still nursing scars from skirmishes with Bernie Sanders marveled at their good fortune. As in all campaigns, researchers watch every public event, read every interview, archive every tweet. “On other campaigns, we would have to scrounge for crumbs,” says a senior Clinton adviser. “Here, it’s a fire hose. He can set himself on fire at breakfast, kill a nun at lunch and waterboard a puppy in the afternoon. And that doesn’t even get us to prime time.”
How Bad Is It?
Have you ever heard of a political party seeking terms of surrender before voting started? Opinion Editor Jill Lawrence at USA Today says it’s being talked about.
The latest crazy idea from Republicans trying to figure out what to do on Election Day is a “negotiated surrender” to Hillary Clinton. That is, they endorse her in exchange for a few small items like, say, they get to pick her first Supreme Court justice.
One major sticking point: If she was ever foolish or desperate enough to agree to that or anything like it, she’d lose me and God knows how many other voters.
How do you explain this gap in your resume?
“I was in jail.”
Okay. Sure you weren’t working for Trump’s campaign?
“Swear to God. Jail.”
— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) April 4, 2016
Politico ran an article focusing on dissatisfaction within the GOP’s national office:
Meanwhile, the RNC has shifted from its primary-season role as neutral arbiter among 17 contenders to perhaps the prime vehicle for electing Trump as president. The national party is playing a proportionally larger role in assisting Trump than other recent presidential nominees, since Trump has a smaller campaign staff of his own and less capacity to target voters and get them to the polls.
But multiple former staff members, speaking on condition of anonymity, say there are significant misgivings among RNC staff, many of whom feel deeply loyal to the Republican brand and see Trump as something of an interloper.
Meanwhile, some Republican consultants who are not currently working for Trump say they’ve received resumes from RNC staffers eager to distance themselves from the nominee.
Voice of San Diego documented the lack of enthusiasm among local GOP officials with the party’s nominee:
In San Diego, party unity is just another political norm Trump upended in 2016.
While Democrats have not only rallied to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but are actively running on a broad version of her platform, just a handful of local Republicans have said they support the party nominee.
If there are others, they aren’t talking.
Even Tony Krvaric, head of San Diego County’s Republican Party, who has been nothing in local politics if not fiercely loyal to the party, would not say he supported Trump to be the next president.
I should point out that none of this doom and gloom for the GOP will come to pass if Democrats get smug and don’t vote.
Get a Bigger Mailbox
The San Diego City Council has decided to deliver printed sample ballots to local voters.
From the Union-Tribune:
In an unprecedented move, the city will need to use multiple pamphlets to fit the entirety of two citizens initiatives that would raise hotel taxes to potentially fund a convention center and a downtown Chargers stadium. The two measures combined span 196 pages and are too lengthy for a single booklet as usual.
Ahead of the November 8 election, voters will receive both volumes in two separate mailings. The first pamphlet, like in prior elections, will include ballot measures recently approved by the City Council, as well as the ballot title, an impartial summary and fiscal analysis, and arguments for and against each of the two citizen initiatives.
Then, in a second pamphlet, voters will again receive the ballot title, summary, analysis and arguments about the stadium, as well as the full text of both of the initiatives.
The analysis of the citizen initiatives will be written by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office. Expect to see predictions involving baby seals being clubbed on the Cory Briggs-backed Citizens Plan along soothing words for the city’s hoteliers, who recently released a doom and gloom analysis of the Chargers Stadium initiative.
What voters won’t see is the context involving these measures, which are symptoms of a larger malaise. And, regardless of the vote, this mess is likely headed to the courts, where it will languish for years.
Fear not, SDFreePress readers. Our General Election Progressive Voter Guide, published at about the time mail-in ballots are delivered, will boil all these ballot measures down and give you the resources to further research issues that are of interest. And it won’t crush your mailbox, leaving room for those all-important flyers from the elephants of retailing.
San Diego Homeless Awareness Day
Next Wdenesday will be the day when various San Diego media outlets will publish stories about the local homeless population. It’s a collaborative effort aimed at raising public awareness.
From San Diego CityBeat editor Ron Donoho:
The entire San Diego region is faced with the issue of homelessness. It affects those human beings out on the streets and in the canyons, as well as the businesses and residents who co-exist with homeless individuals. The SD Homeless Awareness Day is not a call for media advocacy, rather, it’s wake-up call. Widespread homelessness is on the brink of becoming “the new normal.” That’s an important story the media cannot and should not ignore.
We at San Diego Free Press don’t agree with the “not a call for media advocacy” and are planning a day of stories to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
We are still accepting submissions of essays, op-eds, photos and videos. If you’re interested, send an email to Contact@SanDiegoFreePress.org no later than Monday evening. Be sure to read our FAQ’s for submissions.
The City of San Diego is busy getting ready for the day, also, posting signs around town warning the homeless to move on. (or else!)
On This Day: 1884 – Federal troops drove some 1,200 jobless workers from Washington D.C. Led by unemployed activist Charles “Hobo” Kelley, the group’s “soldiers” included young journalist Jack London and William Haywood, a young miner-cowboy called “Big Bill.” 1924 – Newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time. 1984 – Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
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