Category Archives: Blog

Here are some essays and opinion pieces from our hosts and listeners.

A Grand Bargain for the Bern-man

Okay, BernieBros and SanderSistas, have I got an offer for you! For weeks now you’ve been telling me that delegate math is less important than momentum and youth turnout. And you’ve been howling that since Bernie does better in head-to-head match-ups against Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP ne’er-do-wells than my gal Hill does, he will make the stronger fall candidate. You don’t think it’s fair to have to play delegate catch-up to her Super Tuesday southern primary blowouts or to have to win the hearts and minds of the mean, establishment super-duper delegates that Debbie Wasserman “Shifty” Schultz handpicked to cheat Bernie out of his rightful nomination.

You just want the nomination bestowed on the Bern-man based on effort, energy, and overcoming a 60-point deficit in a mere 9 months. Do I have that right?

Well, okay, then – here’s my offer: I’m agreeing with you!

That’s right. Stop the presses! Hold your Make-America-Great-Again hats! Kevin Kelton is about to change the rules for getting the Democratic nomination. Or at least, change the rules for earning my endorsement.

Continue reading A Grand Bargain for the Bern-man

Yes They CAN Stop Trump – Even If He’s Close

The argument goes like this:

“If Donald Trump goes into the convention 30 or 50 delegates shy of 1237, they can’t deny him the nomination. The people would revolt!”

But that logic is wrong, because it does not take into consideration the series of steps that would occur before another nominee emerged. It wouldn’t just go from Trump falling a few votes short to Cruz being crowned. It would be a slow, constantly evolving scenario that would make the process more palatable.

Here’s the way it would most likely go down: Continue reading Yes They CAN Stop Trump – Even If He’s Close

The Hillary-Bernie Swing State Matchup (updated)

by Kevin Kelton

Yes, at one point Bernie Sanders won 7 out of 8 straight contests, plus some impressive victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, and he’s poised to win a few more in May. Yet that is only a partial snapshot of what has happened in his contest with Hillary Cintin this primary season. To date, Clinton has won 27 contests (including American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands) and Sanders has won 20 (including Democrats Abroad).

But let’s narrow things down what really counts in a presidential election: swing states. There are 12 purple states in 2016. Hillary has won primaries or caucuses in 8 of them (OH, FL, VA, NC, MO, NV, IA, AZ) and Bernie has 4 (WI, NH, CO, MI).

Continue reading The Hillary-Bernie Swing State Matchup (updated)

Americathon

by Kevin Kelton

In the 1979 movie Americathon, a fictional U.S. president decides to hold a telethon to pay down the national debt. That was a satiric look into the “future” of 1998. But just decades later, what seemed like satire then now seems all-too-real. America has become a telethon.

It’s everywhere. On my newsfeed. In late-night comedy shows. At the dinner table and dentist office. Even coming from my kids. The world is now a 24/7 presidential election. They might as well call it an Elect-A-Thon.

Ever since the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation decided to end it’s annual 21-hour charity telethon, America has been in search of it’s next “thon” fix. Sure, there’s still the Boston Marathon, the Penn State “THON” charity dance-a-thon, the St. Jude Trike-A-thon (a real thing), and the “Surf Dog” Dog Surf-A-Thon (I kid you not!).

Continue reading Americathon

Why Clinton Beats Trump…In Pictures

Today, instead of arguing the general election in words, let’s argue it in pictures. (And save me a thousand words.)

For every argument that Donald Trump can beat Hillary Clinton by turning out new, first-time white voters, there’s a picture that says, “No, he can’t.”

Continue reading Why Clinton Beats Trump…In Pictures

I Love Millennials…But…

I love millennials. I even own one. Well, as much as a father can ever own an 18-year-old man. So when I read how energized and excited millennials are to vote this year, I am heartened by their newfound political activism. But am I impressed by their overwhelming choice to support Bernie Sanders? Not really.

Let’s remember, any 18-year-olds planning to cast their first vote for Sanders were only 10 when Barack Obama was elected. They were only 11-12 when Americans were torn apart by the Obamacare town hall debates that blew up across the country—far too young to have understood the deep divides that swirled around a new president’s efforts to radically change our healthcare system. And their 26-year-old millennial “elders” were only 18 or 19 back then. All their adult memories of presidential elections are of the good-guy Democrat winning, with no historical knowledge of how liberal candidates can get slaughtered in a national campaign. How can young people who have barely learned to drive understand the Mt. Everest-size speed bump that stands between a Sanders nomination and a Sanders administration?

Continue reading I Love Millennials…But…

Sanders’ Electoral Math

Let’s talk electoral college math for a moment. Here’s why I’m so concerned about a Bernie Sanders candidacy. This is the electoral map as I see it. And I gave Bernie the benefit of the doubt in several states that I think might be tough for him (NJ, CA, WI). But looking at that map, I don’t see him getting to 270 from here, for these reasons:

IOWA – Sure, he had a great caucus showing. But let’s not forget that in a record turnout year, GOP turnout was still 15,415 higher than Dem turnout. And that’s with all the independents who crossed over to caucus for him, and with record under-30 turnout. So his “I’ll increased Democratic turnout” argument is already baked into the numbers. Plus in a general election, Bernie would bleed some moderate Iowa Dems who find him too liberal.

Continue reading Sanders’ Electoral Math

Sanders Supporters’ Short-term Memory

Did you see all those “young people” caucusing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa yesterday? Most looked to be around 18-23, right? Very enthusiastic. Trying to convert other voters to come with the Sanders group, talking about how Bernie wants to give everyone free healthcare and free college. Inspiring, huh?

But you know what? They have no memory of the last eight years.

Continue reading Sanders Supporters’ Short-term Memory

The Sanders Earthquake

Yesterday I wrote a post about my concerns that Bernie Sanders would be taken apart by the rightwing attack machine should he win the Democratic nomination. While the response was mostly positive, many Sanders supporters dismissed my concerns as either the hysterical rants of a Hillary Clinton shill, or at odds with current inter-party polling match-ups that suggest Sanders would defeat GOP frontrunner Donald Trump handily in a national election. Still others argued that Sanders is leading a new political earthquake that will destroy all in his path.

So today I want to speak to that reaction. I base my concern about Sanders viability on my experience of having lived through the presidential elections of 1972, 1984, 1988, and 2004, when liberal candidates got defined by their opponents and ultimately trounced by their GOP opponents. (I don’t count 2000 because Al Gore won the popular vote.) I’ve seen people on Facebook dismiss those examples as being out of step for this year. Their arguments range from “no one could’ve beaten Ronald Reagan in 1984” to “Michael Dukakis was a weak candidate” to “young voters are being energized by Sanders and will turn out in record numbers.” Let’s look at each of those claims.

Continue reading The Sanders Earthquake

Democrats Need to Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

Regardless of what party you’re in or which candidate you support, it seems to me the presidential election comes down to one question: Which Democratic candidate can best withstand the GOP attack machine?

Regardless of whether Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich win the GOP nod, demographics and electoral college math suggest that Democrats are positioned to win in 2016 if their nominee can withstand the harshly negative general election campaign to come. There are two competing and somewhat equally plausible theories about that. In choosing a nominee, Democrats should envision each theory’s worst-case scenario and carefully game it out.

So let’s look at the two very precarious “nightmare” scenarios out there – be it Hillary Clinton’s negatives overwhelming her or Bernie Sanders being caricatured by the opposition.
Continue reading Democrats Need to Consider Worst-Case Scenarios