Archive of Articles for October, 2016

2016 Electoral Math -- Trump Collapses

[ Posted Monday, October 17th, 2016 – 17:30 UTC ]

There is an excellent chance that when Republicans look back at the 2016 presidential election, this will be the week they'll point to when Donald Trump completely collapsed. This collapse may not be over yet, but it surely began in the wake of not only the disastrous Billy Bush tape but also the continuing stream of women publicly accusing a major party's presidential candidate of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

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Friday Talking Points [412] -- Trump Unshackled

[ Posted Friday, October 14th, 2016 – 17:46 UTC ]

Donald Trump has a new answer for why he's about to lose in a landslide. It's all a vast left-wing conspiracy. No, really. Well, he didn't actually use that term, but he did indeed go full-on conspiracy theorist at a recent rally. He blamed the Obamas, the Clintons, the world banking cabal (no dog-whistles there, right?), corporations, and anyone else he could think of. In other words, we seriously doubt Donald Trump is going to give a polite and respectful concession speech on Election Night. This is Trump, unshackled (to use his own term). Trump unchained. Trump off the leash. And it ain't pretty.

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Will The GOP Split?

[ Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2016 – 16:41 UTC ]

When you spend as much time as I do paying attention to politics, you hear all sorts of far-fetched predictions. Most of these never come true. Some do (see: Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate). But some of these are interesting to speculate about, whether or not you think the chances that they'll come true are very high or not. Which leads me to today's subject: will the Republican Party survive, post-Trump, or will it splinter into two factions?

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What To Call The Key 2016 Demographic?

[ Posted Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 – 17:18 UTC ]

The political media is falling down on the job. Where (oh where) are the cutesy names for the key demographic group in this election cycle? You can trace this phenomenon back to (at least) the vaunted Reagan Democrats of the 1980s, but more recently we've had Soccer Moms, NASCAR Dads, and Security Moms -- groups who were supposedly the most crucial for how the vote turned out in presidential years. Now, the construct seems a bit limiting (just moms and dads?), but I'm kind of surprised we haven't had such a snappy label for the group that most pundits have already identified as being the key to victory this November. I keep hearing "college-educated white women," but that's a real mouthful. Which is why I say the media is falling down on its job. Now, the job I speak of is admittedly a rather inane one, and might be properly defined as: "oversimplifying complex demographic trends and then obsessing over one particular slice of the electorate at the expense of all others." But as they say, it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it.

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Republicans' "He Is Us" Problem

[ Posted Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 – 16:44 UTC ]

In deciding how to describe the ongoing fratricide within the Republican Party, several metaphors and phrases sprang to mind. Rock, hard place. Rats, sinking ship. Petard-hoisting. There are several which are apt and appropriate, but I finally settled on the wise words of Pogo Possum. Because the Republican Party truly has fulfilled Pogo's reflective prediction: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

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2016 Electoral Math -- Clinton Continues Her Rise

[ Posted Monday, October 10th, 2016 – 18:55 UTC ]

Even with that big caveat, Hillary Clinton had another good week in the polls. In fact, almost all the news was good news for Clinton and bad news for Donald Trump. Clinton continued to ride the wave from the first debate, and this week shows the public's reaction to Trump's tax returns being leaked, showing an almost-billion-dollar loss in a single year (so much for the "I'm a great businessman" thing...). Trump is defiant about not paying any federal income taxes for almost two decades, which certainly didn't help him any with public opinion.

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Open Debate Thread

[ Posted Sunday, October 9th, 2016 – 15:27 UTC ]

I don't think I've ever done this before, but I'm creating this article just as a placeholder -- an "open thread."
This will allow everyone to comment about the debate tonight, without having to scroll through the already-long comment thread on Friday's article.
So sit back, pop the popcorn, and have fun watching the debate tonight, and [...]

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Friday Talking Points [411] -- Women Up For Grabs

[ Posted Friday, October 7th, 2016 – 17:09 UTC ]

Hoo boy. Every Friday morning, we sit down and review all the news stories from the past week, in preparation for writing this column. After spending a few hours reading and taking notes and copying URLs, the writing begins. But we've learned, over the years, to do a last-minute check on the headlines right before we stop reading the news and start typing. Because every so often, a big bombshell lands that simply cannot be ignored. This is, to put it mildly, one of those times we're glad we checked, because a bombshell just exploded all over the presidential race.

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Obama Poll Watch -- September, 2016

[ Posted Thursday, October 6th, 2016 – 17:02 UTC ]

After August's spectacular improvement in job approval polling, Barack Obama saw his numbers fall in September -- what the stock market might call a "correction." Obama had the best August he's ever had in terms of improving his poll numbers, but it seems now that the whole month was the high end of a slow, two-month cycle which might indicate he's hitting a plateau. That's all a very polite way of saying Obama's numbers went down in September, although not as much as they had risen in August. Let's take a look at his new chart.

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Questions For The Candidates On Marijuana Reform

[ Posted Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 – 16:55 UTC ]

There is a major political debate currently happening in many parts of this country, but the astonishing thing is that most politicians -- especially those on the national stage -- seem to want to pretend the debate doesn't even exist. We saw this previously on the issue of gay marriage, when even the Democratic candidates for president in 2008 wouldn't support the idea for fear of losing votes -- even though it was obviously the right thing to do. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would only support half-measures whose time had already passed, saying they were in favor of "civil unions," but that "marriage" was too sacred a word to use for these unions. That was only eight years ago, and the political shift since then has been monumental. These days, it would be hard for any Democrat to get elected who didn't wholeheartedly support marriage equality for all. The people led, and the leaders eventually followed.

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