ChrisWeigant.com

A Hard Look At The Big Blue Wall

[ Posted Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 – 17:13 PDT ]

It's becoming accepted conventional wisdom in Washington that Hillary Clinton is quite likely going to skate to the Democratic nomination for president. This disappoints many, since pundits love conflict in politics above all else. No conflict means having to write a whole lot of stories about a primary race that is over before it begins, which no political writer wants to do. But is there an even bigger buzzkill out there for political writers? Is the 2016 presidential election almost as easy to predict as the Democratic nominating contest?

The very idea terrifies conservatives, because the pronounced slant is so heavily tilted in the Democratic direction. George Will has been talking about it lately, in fact, warning Republican primary voters to choose someone who can successfully attack "the big blue wall" that faces them (Will even likes to get hyperspecific about the ideal Republican candidate: the one who can convince suburban Philadelphia voters to vote against Hillary, thus shifting Pennsylvania, thus dismantling the big blue wall). If Will is right, the crucial 2016 questions to ask are obvious. Will the big blue wall hold firm in 2016? Will Republicans hammer some cracks in it? And, most importantly, just what is this big blue wall in the first place?

The term is metaphorical. There is no big wall painted blue anywhere. It is a historical construct of the Electoral College, which is a fancy way of explaining that it's a list or map of the states which are considered pretty much "in the bag" for Democrats in the upcoming election. The criteria for inclusion in the big blue wall is a consistent Democratic voting record. Every state in the big blue wall has voted for the Democratic candidate for president in each of the past six elections. A perfect record of Democratic voting, back to Bill Clinton's first election, in other words. Mapped out, these states don't look all that formidable, as they cover only the West Coast (and Hawai'i), the upper Midwest, and most of New England and the northern Atlantic states.

Here's a handy list, in alphabetic order, of the 19 big blue wall states (with their respective Electoral College votes in parenthesis):

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Hawai'i (4), Illinois (20), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (12), Washington D.C. (3), Wisconsin (10).

When you add up the total, you get a whopping 242 Electoral College votes -- which is only 28 votes shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

But the true magnitude of the problem for the Republican Party only becomes apparent when you compare the big blue wall to what might be called the "small red picket fence" of the consistent Republican-voting states. Only 13 states voted Republican in the past six elections, and while they look pretty formidable on a map of the country, most of them aren't all that populous (which is what counts in the Electoral College). Here's the Republican list:

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Texas (38), Utah (6), Wyoming (3).

That only adds up to 102 Electoral College votes -- meaning the Republican candidate has to pick up a whopping 168 votes from all the other states to win, while the Democrat only needs 28. This is why people like George Will are concerned.

The situation improves markedly for Republicans if you add in states where they won in only five of the past six elections. The problem is, the situation also improves for Democrats. Republicans would add in: Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Indiana (11), Montana (3), and North Carolina (15) -- a total of 56 more Electoral College votes. The two worrisome states for Republicans in that list would be Indiana and North Carolina, both of which Obama won in 2008 (but then lost in 2012), but the others seem pretty solid. Democrats wouldn't add as many states, but then again they don't need that many to push them over the top. States that voted Democratic in five of the last six elections: Iowa (6), New Hampshire (4), and New Mexico (5). Only 15 more Electoral College votes, but all pretty competitive states for a Democrat in 2016.

Republicans look better when you add in states that have only voted for Republicans four times out of six, but again, Democrats add some here too. The real strength for Republicans here is that every one of these states (with the sole exception of Virginia) has voted Republican in all of the most-recent four elections. In other words, they voted for Clinton twice but haven't voted Democratic since. This means the trend is pretty favorable for Republicans. Virginia, though, is trending decidedly Democratic these days, and voted for Obama twice. In any case, here's the list of Republican additions: Arkansas (5), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Missouri (10), Tennessee (11), Virginia (13), and West Virginia (5). This gives a boost to the Republican total, adding in 61 Electoral College votes. This would put the Republicans at a grand total of 219, which is a little more competitive. The bad news for Republicans is that Democrats would add in two states in this category, Nevada (6) and Ohio (18), which would put them over the top with a grand total of 281 Electoral College votes -- 11 more than they need to win. So even if Republicans picked up the two states who split their vote evenly in the past six elections -- Colorado (9) and Florida (29) -- they would still fall short and Hillary wins.

If the big blue wall -- just the states with perfect Democratic voting records -- holds firm, then Hillary actually has multiple paths to victory. She could lose states like New Mexico, Iowa, and Ohio and still win just by winning Florida, for instance. She could pick off vulnerable states in the Republican column, like Virginia and North Carolina (which would also give her the 28 extra votes she would need to win). Of the other states outside the big blue wall, Colorado in particular looks like an easy pickup.

Republicans have a much harder time of it, because they've got to hold onto all their historic states (all those who voted even just four times for the Republican in the past six) as well as pick off vulnerable Democratic states. It can be done -- George W. Bush did it twice, after all, even when the big blue wall held firm. In 2000, Bush won every state not in the big blue wall but two (New Mexico and Iowa). Then in 2004, he won all the states outside the big blue wall except New Hampshire. Both times, he inched his way across the 270 finish line. The path for Republicans to victory, however, would get a lot easier if they could manage to dislodge a state or two from the big blue wall.

As I see it, there are only really six possible big blue wall states Republicans seem to have any chance of successfully poaching: Maryland, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Maryland has a Republican governor now, which signaled a possible big political shift (in a non-presidential year, though). New Jersey and Wisconsin could have "favorite sons" on the Republican ticket (although Chris Christie's personal approval rating in his state is pretty low right now). Maine has an independent streak, even if it does vote pretty reliably Democratic in presidential elections. Michigan and Pennsylvania are always targeted by Republicans, so perhaps this is the year they successfully turn one of these states red.

All of these would be heavy -- but not impossible -- lifts for the Republican Party. But they're really the only plausible cracks the Republicans could create in the big blue wall. It's easy to see why George Will focuses on Pennsylvania, because at 20 Electoral College votes, it would be the biggest prize to steal away from Democrats. But flipping Michigan's 16 votes or New Jersey's 14 would be almost as good.

Presidential elections are often referred to in horseracing terms. The big blue wall is a giant handicap for the Republican horse -- like having to run the track with 140 pounds of extra weight on board. The Democrats have many paths to victory, putting together various combinations from the "battleground" states. Republicans really only have one: to almost completely run the table in all of the tossup states. This isn't going to change much unless Republicans can indeed pry one or more of the big blue wall states away from Democrats.

It would be overstating the case to say that Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 general election is as predictable at this point as her winning the Democratic nomination. The odds are different, and there are more obstacles to overcome. So, no, I am not going to confidently call the victor of the 2016 election quite yet. But it sure looks like an easier run for Hillary than for her eventual Republican opponent. Conservatives should be worried about the big blue wall, because if it holds it means their candidate is going to have to run an almost-perfect campaign, in order to have any real shot at victory.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

72 Comments on “A Hard Look At The Big Blue Wall”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    . . . or Republicans could just change the rules.

    Liberty!

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Big Blue Wall theory fails to take into account all the skeletons that are in Hillary Clinton's closet and all the skeletons that are in the SKELETONS' closets..

    Ya'all just HAVE to know that the GOP is holding on to some primo dirt they have on Hillary for just the right moment... Dirt that will make Benghazi and EmailGate look like nothing..

    It's gonna be a wild ride.. :D

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what makes the Big Blue Wall less formidable is the fact that it's likely Democrats won't be able to count on all the illegal immigrant votes, what with Judge Hanen's ruling and another Obama loss in the 5th Circuit...

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And what makes the Big Blue Wall less formidable is the fact that it's likely Democrats won't be able to count on all the illegal immigrant votes, what with Judge Hanen's ruling and another Obama loss in the 5th Circuit..."

    You must be pretty desperate when you think that there were enough illegal immigrant votes to make a difference in a Presidential election.

    A very conservative Republican lady tried to say the same thing here in Florida, saying that Obama had to have won by fraud, simply because according to her, he was black and liberal and there was no way that she could understand why her conservative candidate could lose an election if the election was actually fair.

    So according to her, there must have been massive vote fraud here in Florida, and she cited the accusations of voter fraud in Ohio.

    The two things she failed to point out where however:

    1) Despite having a Republican Governor, legislature, and Cabinet, the FDLE, the Florida Department Of Law Enforcement, could not find ONE single case of voter fraud to bring forward for prosecution.

    2) Of the 500 for investigation or so cases of Ohio that were brought forward, she did not say how many were dropped or actually prosecuted. And those few hundred case were out of a total of 5 1/2 million total votes cast for President in Ohio. Even if they were all eventually found to be fraudulent, they were by comparison a drop in the bucket that would have had zero outcome on the results of the election.

  5. [5] 
    John M wrote:

    I'll give you guys one more example. On another online site, I was having a discussion with a rabid right wing supporter about a county here in Florida where he was alleging that Obama won that county through voter fraud.

    In response and to disprove his claim, I gave him a link providing him with the proof that he and his claim were both wrong. He dismissed it as merely "spin."

    The link was to the official voting record of that county as provided by that county's Supervisor Of Elections. You tell me, how delusional does one have to be to dismiss something like that as "mere spin????"

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the 2016 Presidential Election Season officially began at CW.com: April 8th,17:13 PDT. Is this like Ground Hog Day, only with cats? The first Hairball of Spring? The first rodent carcass left on the door mat? The first kitten-in-basket left on the doormat? These seem like appropriate omens but I'm no high priest - although do have 2 cats who flawlessly predict meal times.

    The Blue Wall happens when population density meets the electoral college. Democrats control the states with population centers, Republicans rule the ones with open spaces.

    The Democratic nominee is going to have at least as big an advantage as Obama did in '08 and '12. The Republicans pick up Citizens United, the Democrats pick up demographics. The Soylent Blue Wall is people.

    On pure fundamentals, I would have to rate the odds at around 65% Democrat, 35% Republican. The spread would be much greater if the competitive states didn't tend to vote in packs (yes, that's packs not PACs). This gives Republicans a fighting chance of running the table, or at least enough of it, in genuinely competitive states with probabilities that aren't, for practical purposes, either 1 or zero.

    No candidate is without skeletons in their closet, real or synthetic. Opposition research casts a wide net. Media beats the drum. But, when all the cards are on the table, one voter's skeleton is another voter's flesh and blood. The rural virtues that win the nomination for the Republican candidate are likely to doom that candidate in the general election. Self-inflicted Swift Boating.

  7. [7] 
    John M wrote:

    I'll also relate a story to you guys that you may find interesting, or at least entertaining.

    During the American invasion of Iraq, some Iraqis, being devout Muslims, were under the impression that American soldiers were spying on their women.

    To disprove this, one American soldier handed over his night vision goggles to an Iraqi to examine, inspect and try out for himself. Thinking that of course, actual factual proof would have an impact.

    After trying them on, etc. the Iraqi handed the goggles back, telling the American that there was a "special" button on the goggles that the American was not showing him how to push, that allowed the American to see beneath Iraqi women's clothing.

    Some people, like Birthers, Carnival (Ted) Cruz, or yes Michale even some Leftists, are simply going to believe what they want to believe, despite reality actually be something entirely different. I would call that delusional.

  8. [8] 
    dsws wrote:

    . . . or Republicans could just change the rules.

    Bingo.

    "Each State shall appoint in such Manner as the Legislature thereof shall direct, a number of Electors ... ."
    -- The Constitution of the United States

    All the host of Heaven and all the hordes of Hell couldn't drag enough Democratic-leaning voters to the polls in an off-year election to have Democratic majorities in the legislatures of states amounting to a majority of electoral votes. I don't see why (Republican to be named later) hasn't already been elected.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    One bright spot for Clinton is Virginia, the largest of the three states, where she leads all Republicans, including 47 - 40 percent over Bush, compared to a 42 - 42 percent tie in February.

    Voters in each state say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Her overall favorability has dropped significantly in Colorado and Iowa, while Virginia is unchanged. Favorability ratings for the Republicans are lackluster, at best.

    "These numbers are a boost for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as he formally launches his campaign," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

    "Ominous for Hillary Clinton is the broad scope of the movement today compared to her showing in Quinnipiac University's mid-February survey. It isn't just one or two Republicans who are stepping up; it's virtually the entire GOP field that is running better against her.

    "That's why it is difficult to see Secretary Clinton's slippage as anything other than a further toll on her image from the furor over her e-mail."
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/2016-presidential-swing-state-polls/release-detail?ReleaseID=2184

    "Whose house?? RON'S house!! I said, 'Whose House!??' RON'S HOUSE!! Say What!!???"
    -Loki, DOGMA

    :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Some people, like Birthers, Carnival (Ted) Cruz, or yes Michale even some Leftists, are simply going to believe what they want to believe, despite reality actually be something entirely different. I would call that delusional.

    I couldn't have said it better myself!! :D

    And the people who WANT to believe won't listen to ANYONE who tells them different..

    Sound familiar?? :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    There is a really REALLY easy test to show the delusional ones...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    You must be pretty desperate when you think that there were enough illegal immigrant votes to make a difference in a Presidential election.

    There aren't NOW..

    But after Obama and the Democrats minted millions and millions of fresh new Dem voters, there would have been..

    Thank gods the courts stopped it..

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    No candidate is without skeletons in their closet, real or synthetic.

    And if you can claim that every candidate has as many skeletons that Hillary has, then I would submit a case of delusion for John M.. :D

    NO CANDIDATE is more skeleton prone than Hillary Clinton..

    I am sorry if ya'all don't like that, but it's the simple fact...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democratic nominee is going to have at least as big an advantage as Obama did in '08 and '12.

    Felgercarp!!!

    If Democrats hadn't run this country into the ground and totally decimated US prestige world wide, then what you say is true..

    But they have so it isn't..

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democratic nominee is going to have at least as big an advantage as Obama did in '08 and '12.

    Felgercarp!!!

    Or more apropos...

    MOOSE POOP!!!!

    :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, Hillary's collapsing completely, shouldn't even bother to enter the race...
    -Liberal Reporter Glenn Thrush

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/09/liberal-politico-reporter-clinton-campaign-collapsing-completely/

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    mvymvy wrote:

    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution

    By state laws, The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote.com

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    . . . or Republicans could just change the rules.

    Bingo.

    Yea... Cuz Democrats would NEVER stoop to changing the rules to favor their re-elections chances. {{cough}} Illegal Immigrants {cough} {cough}

    :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    mvymvy

    Welcome to the party, Pal!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect."

    I'm not blaming mvymvy for this spin because that was taken word for word from NPV's website, but if they're going to mention colors in the first sentence, then the last sentence really should read: The bill has been enacted by 11 very blue jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    The GOP isn't going to go along with this idea. They're planning to cheat.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    The GOP isn't going to go along with this idea. They're planning to cheat.

    And Democrats aren't??

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    mvymvy wrote:

    There is a concerted effort by some Republican legislators to split state electoral votes in states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections.
    While those same Republican legislators do not want to split electoral votes in states that recently voted Republican in presidential elections.

    Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus made the goal of the scheme clear when he endorsed it last year, saying, "I think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at."

    Obvious partisan machinations like these should add support for the National Popular Vote movement. If the party in control in each state is tempted every 2, 4, or 10 years (post-census) to consider rewriting election laws and redistrict with an eye to the likely politically beneficial effects for their party in the next presidential election, then the National Popular Vote system, in which all voters across the country are guaranteed to be politically relevant and equal, is needed now more than ever.

  23. [23] 
    mvymvy wrote:

    From 1932-2008 the combined popular vote for Presidential candidates added up to Democrats: 745,407,082 and Republican: 745,297,123 — a virtual tie. Republicans have done very well in the national popular vote.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently.

    The National Advisory Board of National Popular Vote includes former Congressmen John Anderson (R–Illinois and later independent presidential candidate), John Buchanan (R–Alabama), Tom Campbell (R–California), and Tom Downey (D–New York), and former Senators Birch Bayh (D–Indiana), David Durenberger (R–Minnesota), and Jake Garn (R–Utah).

    Supporters include former Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN), Governor Jim Edgar (R–IL), Governor Howard Dean (D-VT), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA)

    In 1969, The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    On February 12, 2014, the Oklahoma Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 28–18 margin.

    On March 25, 2014 in the New York Senate, Republicans supported the bill 27-2; Republicans endorsed by the Conservative Party by 26-2; The Conservative Party of New York endorsed the bill.
    In the New York Assembly, Republicans supported the bill 21–18; Republicans endorsed by the Conservative party supported the bill 18–16.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 250 electoral votes, including one house in Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9).

  24. [24] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    . . . and it still hasn't been enacted in a purple state much less a red one. Assuming that the NPV's as popular with Republican voters and former Republican officials as claimed, one can only assume that the Kochs don't like it.

    Would the Mexican vote count under NPV?

  25. [25] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    When HilRod gets more votes than whichever wacko bird the GOP nominates, this NPV idea will be more unpopular with Republicans than Obama.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    When HilRod gets more votes than whichever wacko bird the GOP nominates, this NPV idea will be more unpopular with Republicans than Obama.

    And, conversely, it will be more popular than anything else.

    The Left only wants the popular vote thingy when their guy wins the popular vote...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "If Democrats hadn't run this country into the ground and totally decimated US prestige world wide, then what you say is true.."

    How do you figure that? We now have the best job creation record since 1992, and the USA now has a more popular approval rating in both Europe and the Mideast than we did under President Bush.

  28. [28] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The Left only wants the popular vote thingy when their guy wins the popular vote..."

    Since the Democratic candidate for President has won the popular vote in 4 out of the last 5 Presidential elections, is that really such a surprise? Clinton won twice, Obama won twice, and Al Gore won the popular vote but lost to Bush in the electoral college. The only outright Republican win in the popular vote was Bush's second term.

  29. [29] 
    John M wrote:

    Sorry, I should have said 5 out of the last 6. :-)

  30. [30] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The Democratic nominee is going to have at least as big an advantage as Obama did in '08 and '12.

    Felgercarp!!!"

    Not really. The Democrats have won the Presidency 66.67 percent of the time since 1992. And the popular vote 83.33 percent of the time. Anyway you look at it, that's a remarkable streak and a hard one for any Republican to overcome.

  31. [31] 
    John M wrote:

    Look at it another way. If Clinton wins in 2016, the Democrats will have won the Presidency somewhere between 71 and 85 percent of the time, depending on whether you count either the electoral or popular vote, over the last 25 years!

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I think the republicans are attacking Hillary early not necessarily to beat her but to try to keep enthusiasm down. If Hillary builds support similar to Obama's first election, the republicans could be swept out of the Senate and possibly the house. The prospect of the first woman president could very well build that fervor especially late in the election...

    The other thing to think about the possible swing states: do any of them have marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot? There could be a swell of normally spotty voters single issue voting who just happen to mark all the democrat boxes on their way down to the vote they showed up for.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Republicans rule the ones with open spaces.

    Hah!

    Now, THAT there was HILARIOUS!!!

    And, that's all I'm gonna say about that. Ahem.

    :-)

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Open spaces, indeed. Heh.

  35. [35] 
    mvymvy wrote:

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-83% range - in recent or past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, in purple, red, and blue states, and in other states polled. -- NationalPopularVote.com

    Most Americans don't ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it would be wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    #24- John - Why would you ask if a vote cast in Mexico would count under NPV?
    The candidate with the most popular votes cast in America by Americans would win.

    The Kochs don't like the National Popular Vote bill.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    USA now has a more popular approval rating in both Europe and the Mideast than we did under President Bush.

    Oh now THAT is a load of felgercarp!! :D

    Unless, of course you count the approval from groups like Hamas, Hezbollah...

    Of course, Assad LOVES Obama...

    And Obama has a higher approval rating in Cuba than in the US...

    In short, ALL of the US enemies LOVE Obama...

    That should tell you something...

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Kochs don't like the National Popular Vote bill.

    heh... Good one..

    THAT right there will make ALL Weigantians flock towards the Popular Vote!! :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans rule the ones with open spaces.

    Hah!

    Newsflash for ya'all..

    Those people in the open spaces are still Americans..

    Don't they count???

    Read CW's current commentary before answering...

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Clinton wins in 2016,

    Considering all the baggage and skeletons that Clinton has, that's a pretty big IF..

    But it DOES prove my point about D v R...

    As long as she has that 'D' behind her name, she is tops... :D

    The all important -x is all that matters....

    Not competence... Not integrity... Just -x

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Newsflash for ya'all..Those people in the open spaces are still Americans..Don't they count???

    Oh, c'mon! Lighten up, will you? It was funny. And, I restrained myself, you know. :)

    Besides, you're the sole reason why a little attempt at humour is so desperately needed around here. Geesh.

    Now, if you'll excuse me for the next little while, there's a good baseball game going on that I need to get back to ... ahem.

  41. [41] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    mvymvy,

    "Why would you ask if a vote cast in Mexico would count under NPV? The candidate with the most popular votes cast in America by Americans would win."

    I was just mocking the fact-fee Republican assertion that eeleegul aliens vote in our elections.

    "The Kochs don't like the National Popular Vote bill."

    I was funnin' you there too. Of course they don't. They're Republicans and they can't win if everybody votes and the votes actually count. They would prefer that peasants not vote.

    I think that the person with the most votes should win the presidency. It's our one national election and it should be treated as such. OTOH, I don't think that the NPV bill is a very good idea and I really don't believe it has any significant Republican support.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The more empty spaces, the better!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist ... and the game has become boring.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm so bad.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Besides, you're the sole reason why a little attempt at humour is so desperately needed around here. Geesh.

    OUCH!!

    "And the ref takes a point away!!"
    -Jim Carrey, LIAR LIAR

    :D

    Touche.. I can understand that.. :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was just mocking the fact-fee Republican assertion that eeleegul aliens vote in our elections.,

    Fact-fee???

    You PAY for facts??

    Actually, it's a proven fact that thousands of illegals were on the voter rolls in 2014...

    And now that Democrats want to give voting IDs to illegals that are indistinguishable from American voting IDs, it's just going to get worse..

    Thank the gods that the courts have stepped in to stop the minting of fresh new Dem voters...

    "There's only one god, ma'am.. And I am pretty sure he doesn't dress like that.."
    -Captain America, THE AVENGERS

    :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [6] -

    OK, your comment had multiple laugh lines, I have to give you that!

    Cats are indeed uncanny in their knowledge of clock times. Although I do have to say, the switch to Daylight Savings Time does confuse them for weeks on end! Heh.

    But "The Soylent Blue Wall is people" is just classic, I have to admit. Heh. As was "packs, not PACs"...

    :-)

    Michale [12] -

    Once again, I have to call bullshit. Even under the Senate bill, immigrants would have had to have waited a minimum of 13 years before becoming citizens and been able to vote. Under Obama's order, NONE of them would have had a path to citizenship, or the vote. So, like I said: "Bullshit!"

    Ahem.

    [15] -

    Nice use of "moose poop," I must admit. Heh.

    :-)

    Sarah Palin, the gift that keeps on giving!

    mvymvy [17] -

    Good point, but given the rate of success of the popular vote initiatives, I would think it would be more of an influence on the 2020 elections than 2016. I could be wrong, but that's how it seems to me at this point.

    Michale [18] -

    Actually, it's Republicans who are attempting to change the rules in states like Michigan -- trying to make the state not a "winner take all" state, because they're tired of losing over and over again. Look it up.

    mvymvy [23] -

    Nice list of stats! I've always been intrigued by the national popular vote movement, and have indeed been interviewed with Rob Richie in the past. I have to admit, the movement is more organized than most, and I follow its fortunes closely.

    Michale [26] -

    And that would include 5 of the past 6 elections, right? I mean, is the GOP ever going to win the popular presidential vote ever again? Obama won it by a margin not matched since Eisnehower, I believe...

    JohnM [28] -

    That's actually 5 out of 6, not 4 out of 5...

    :-)

    [29] -

    Ah, OK. Fair enough.

    :-)

    BashiBazouk [32] -

    Excellent points, all! You're right, Hillary's coattails could be broad and deep. The Senate races don't look very good for the GOP, and control of the chamber could hang in the balance.

    As for weed legalization, well, that would have to depend on whether Democratic candidates supported it, don't you think? Other than Gavin Newsom, I can't name a whole lot of Dems willing to offer full support for that one, yet. Of course, that could change as the polling comes in....

    LizM [33, 34] -

    Good point. Heh.

    :-)

    Michale [38] -

    Those people in the open spaces are still Americans..

    Don't they count???

    Yes. Yes, they do. In proper proportion. Meaning their electoral college votes aren't all that important, in the grand scheme of things. Sorry.

    LizM [40] -

    Oh, well done! I sit and offer up my applause to you!

    :-)

    [43] -

    You're so bad, you're good.

    :-)

    OK, that's it for this thread for now at least...

    -CW

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, I have to call bullshit. Even under the Senate bill, immigrants would have had to have waited a minimum of 13 years before becoming citizens and been able to vote. Under Obama's order, NONE of them would have had a path to citizenship, or the vote. So, like I said: "Bullshit!"

    And like I say everytime you make this point.

    That may be the law...

    But it is NOT reality...

    The reality is that there were THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants on the voter roles in 2014 in North Carolina alone..

    The reality is that there is virtually NOTHING to distinguish a driver's license held by a legal voter from a driver's license held by an illegal voter..

    The reality is that MANY SecStates have stated unequivocally that they do not have the mechanisms in place to prevent illegal immigrants from voting...

    So, you can call BULLSHIT til yer blue in the face... :D

    But the FACT is that there is NOTHING preventing illegal voters from voting...

    NOTHING... NADA....

    So, are we supposed to just count on the (heh) "integrity" of PROVEN criminals and their Democrat enablers???

    On what planet???

    Nice use of "moose poop," I must admit. Heh.

    Yea, I thought ya might like that.. :D

    Sarah Palin, the gift that keeps on giving!

    Ahhhhh, the good old days.. :D

    Actually, it's Republicans who are attempting to change the rules in states like Michigan -- trying to make the state not a "winner take all" state, because they're tired of losing over and over again. Look it up.

    I have no doubt...

    However ya can't castigate the GOP and applaud the Dems... It's not ethical.. :D

    Excellent points, all! You're right, Hillary's coattails could be broad and deep. The Senate races don't look very good for the GOP, and control of the chamber could hang in the balance.

    And the echos from 2014 harken.. :D

    Yes. Yes, they do. In proper proportion. Meaning their electoral college votes aren't all that important, in the grand scheme of things. Sorry.

    Ahhhh but we're not talking Electoral College now are we?? : D

    My point is that Democrats in general (and Weigantians in particular) tend to treat people who don't believe as they do as second-class (or worse) citizens...

    I, of course, refer to this:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/04/09/an-anniversary-worth-remembering/#comment-58588

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Can't help feeling I might be a wee bit responsible for your Ted binge. Sorry. Sorry to Ms CW if I disrupted routine and or peace and quiet. There is probably a ten step program that can help.

  49. [49] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Can't help feeling I might be a wee bit responsible for your Ted binge. Sorry. Sorry to Ms CW if I disrupted routine and or peace and quiet. There is probably a ten step program that can help.

  50. [50] 
    TheStig wrote:

    To all:

    Watch Father Ted Responsibly!

  51. [51] 
    TheStig wrote:

    To all:

    Watch Father Ted Responsibly!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    There's an echo in here....

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    There's an echo in here........

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry... Just couldn't resist :D

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    My point is that Democrats in general (and Weigantians in particular) tend to treat people who don't believe as they do as second-class (or worse) citizens...

    To be fair, Republicans are just as guilty of that...

    Blessed are the agnostics... :D

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Odd thing those double posts. The software usually catches doublets, informs you and posts just one. This time it warned me when I was pretty sure I had clicked just once, than posted both. Probably tablet related. Lousy virtual keys.....:(

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    It's been my experience that if you click on SUBMIT and then click on SUBMIT again while the cursor is still spinning from the first SUBMIT, you will get a double post..

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [49, 50] -

    I'm about halfway through. Father Dougal is now my favorite, I think...

    Heh.

    Hey, you say you read this on a tablet... I'm embarrassingly old-school (and I used to work in Silicon Valley...), but I have to ask:

    Does this site look OK on a tablet or smartphone? I always see it on a full monitor, so I have no real idea. Is there anything odd or fixable about the layout?

    Inquiring minds want to know...

    Please, chime in, everybody, on this...

    -CW

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Does this site look OK on a tablet or smartphone? I always see it on a full monitor, so I have no real idea. Is there anything odd or fixable about the layout?

    I with you, CW..

    Phones are for text messages and phone calls. Tablets are for watching movies on the airplane..

    I am lost without a keyboard and mouse/touchpad.. My daughter has a nice quad core computer at her house, courtesy of her loving father..

    She does ALL her internet stuff on her Galaxy S5.. :^/

    Go figger...

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    CW.com looks just great on my IPad. Scrolling with the index finger is very natural, but a bit unwieldiy when the number of comments get long. The only downside is posting comments with the screen keyboard....as I'm muddling thru now.. Very slow....autocorrect messes up frequently and the work space is tiny. Submit is hard to snag.

    Since you cross post to HuffPo, I think you'll be interested to know that Huffpo is a very marginal read on my Windows 7 desktop. Frequent freezes when plugins crash. Regular updates don't help. Huffpo works much better on my iPad.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I don't have a smartphone or tablet but, if I did, I certainly wouldn't use it for watching movies or baseball. I don't even use my monitor for that. That's why I have a big screen TV, you know.

    Of course, I also have a long cord thingy that I could use to hook up the monitor to the TV but, I haven't gotten around to that yet. So far, no real reason to.

    On the other hand, commenting on the big screen TV sounds like it could be fun. Heh.

  62. [62] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Part 2. As usual, submit was hard to toggle - even if I expand the screen. There is no spinner cue. Did I miss? Is it waiting? Will the repeat catcher work? Five second lag on post 60.

    Don't own a smartphone. Too invasive. Too small a screen.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW.com looks just great on my IPad. Scrolling with the index finger is very natural, but a bit unwieldiy when the number of comments get long.

    Touche' :D

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    TheStig wrote:

    One pleasant surprise about my tablet is ergonomic - no neck-back-shoulder-left elbow stiffness. Even after very long sessions. You naturally shift positions using a tablet. You can get up and walk with one and not miss anything. So I find I get up a lot more often. If your desktop computer is making you resemble Quasiomodo, a tablet may be the antidote.

  65. [65] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The reality is that there were THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants on the voter roles in 2014 in North Carolina alone.."

    Yet even if that were true, it still did not stop North Carolina from going Republican in the last Presidential election, or from electing one of the most Conservative Republican state legislatures in the last mid-term election of 2014 did it?

    It seems as if reality is determined to contradict your statement.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yet even if that were true, it still did not stop North Carolina from going Republican in the last Presidential election, or from electing one of the most Conservative Republican state legislatures in the last mid-term election of 2014 did it?

    It was true and the only reason it didn't affect the election is because the fraud was discovered BEFORE the election took place..

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why won't anyone address the fact that, if the courts rule in favor of Obama, illegals will be given DLs and SSN cards that are indistinguishable from those DLs and SSNs of people who are legally able to vote...

    Based on that, we can only rely on the.. ahem... "integrity" of illegals that they will not vote..

    Seems ridiculous to rely on that, since they are already provable and definable criminals...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    John from Arcadia wrote:

    Well, here goes. My first comment for CW.com! Regarding viewing the site on a smart phone or tablet, I ALWAYS view the site on my iPad or iPhone. In fact, I have never looked at it on my desktop computer. What I do is I turn my iPad or iPhone on it's side to make the type bigger. Then, I zoom out with my fingers to make the type even bigger. No problem! Then, I can easily keep up with the site wherever I am in the house, or even when I am out for the evening (especially on Friday nights!). Never miss a column that way.

  69. [69] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John from Arcadia [68] -

    I'm going to post this in two places, in the hopes that you'll see it in at least one of them.

    Welcome to the site! Your first post was held for moderation, but from now on you will be able to post and see them appear instantly. Just don't post more than one link per comment, as those are also automatically held (which can take some time to get to).

    In any case, I'll thank you for your comments on reading CW.com on different devices in a separate comment, just wanted to welcome you to the site.

    -CW

  70. [70] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, to John from Arcadia and everyone else who responded --

    Thanks for the feedback. I am contemplating a redesign of the site, and this is all very valuable info to me when I look at what needs to be changed, and what doesn't. Personally, I hate mucking about with the website, so I'm going to look to cut corners while still keeping the site up to date enough so it's still usable for everyone. Can't promise any specific timetable for this, but the feedback is great, I have to say!

    -CW

  71. [71] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "But the FACT is that there is NOTHING preventing illegal voters from voting..."

    "It was true and the only reason it didn't affect the election is because the fraud was discovered BEFORE the election took place.."

    So which is it??? Those are two contradictory statements!!!

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    So which is it??? Those are two contradictory statements!!!

    Not contradictory at all..

    The former is what actually happened.

    The latter is what WILL happen if Democrats get their way...

    Let me ask you a question..

    Would Democrats be championing the rights of illegal immigrant criminals if they overwhelmingly voted Republican??

    You and I both know they wouldn't...

    So, there ya go...

    Michale

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