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Can Democrats Flip The Senate?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

It's tough to focus on politics right now, in the middle of a viral pandemic that is sweeping the country. But it's also necessary to step away from the coronavirus news from time to time, so I thought it might be useful to take a look today at where the race for control of the Senate stands.

The current makeup of the Senate is 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with the Democrats. This means to wrest control away from the GOP, Democrats will have to pick up at least three seats if Democrats win the White House, or four if Trump wins a second term. Luckily for them, the map is a lot more friendly to Democratic chances than it was in the last cycle. Only a third of the Senate is up for re-election in any one election, but the makeup of that third is crucial -- and this time it will mostly be Republicans playing defense, not Democrats.

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It's Time For Bernie To Drop Out

[ Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2020 – 16:26 UTC ]

It's time for Bernie to make an exit from the Democratic presidential nomination race. I don't say this lightly, as I'm actually a Bernie supporter myself. I voted for him this year and back in 2016 as well. I feel free to now say this because I never admit to my own preferences while I think the race is still up in the air -- my own way of attempting to limit my bias in my writing. But I do feel free to say it now, because the race is now essentially over.

Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee this time around. At this point, barring any completely unexpected and drastic changes in circumstance, it is realistically impossible for Bernie Sanders to catch him in the delegate race. This was not true until the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, but it is true now. Which is why Bernie needs to concede this reality.

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Final Tuesday Predictions?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – 14:54 UTC ]

Conventional wisdom, when it comes to politics, is usually proven wrong. If you don't believe me, go look at anything anyone was saying about the Democratic primaries about a month or two ago. The primary season was going to be endless. It was going to go right down to the wire. A brokered convention was a real possibility, or perhaps even inevitable. There were so many candidates in the field that the vote would be impossibly split. The candidates were all so well-funded that they'd stay in the race for a very long time. Bernie was too strong and would sweep everything. Amy was surging. Pete was surging. The nomination would surely come down to the last primaries in June.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Weird Turn Pro

[ Posted Friday, March 13th, 2020 – 16:54 UTC ]

In a surreal bit of coincidence this week, America saw a simultaneous broadcast of President Trump stumbling and lying his way through a primetime Oval Office address, while on another channel former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin danced around in a frilly pink bear costume while rapping "Baby Got Back," which contains the memorable line: "I like big butts and I cannot lie...." Signs of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge. What flashed through our mind was the old quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Or, as we might put it (with a fake Sarah Palin accent): "How's that 'stable genius' stuff workin' out for ya now?"

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The Choice Couldn't Be Starker

[ Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2020 – 17:26 UTC ]

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have taken a page from Michael Bloomberg's campaign playbook, and they really need to continue doing this right up until the election (no matter which one of them becomes the nominee). Because more than anything else, it clearly shows the difference between having a sane adult as president and what we've got now.

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Grin And Bear It?

[ Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 – 17:09 UTC ]

The stock market is now officially in bear market territory. Thus endeth the longest bull market in history, which lasted for the 11 years from just after the Great Recession's end until now. For those unfamiliar with the terms, the "bear market" designation is defined as: "losing 20 percent from the market's peak." Less than a month ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 29,500. Today it closed right around 23,500 -- a loss of roughly 6,000 points. And we may not have hit bottom, although with the current volatility it's tough to tell.

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Predicting Mini-Super-Tuesday

[ Posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 – 15:39 UTC ]

Nobody, it seems, has come up with a name for today's round of primaries that is catchy enough so that everyone starts universally using it. Some call it Mini Tuesday, some call it Super Tuesday II, but no matter what you call it, the time has come once again to toss our darts at the wall in an effort to try to predict the outcome of the six races being run today in the 2020 Democratic primary race.

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Friday Talking Points -- Tennis, Anyone?

[ Posted Friday, March 6th, 2020 – 18:09 UTC ]

The stock market is crashing daily, a pandemic is sweeping America, a tornado in Tennessee just killed two dozen people, so of course First Lady Melania Trump decided to reassure the public with a message designed to calm people in these perilous times. The message? Don't worry, everyone -- the construction of the new White House tennis pavilion was still on track. No, seriously -- you just can't make this stuff up. She even donned a hard hat (in order to look fabulous) while making this tone-deaf announcement.

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And Then There Were Two

[ Posted Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

The 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest is ending as it began. If you look at the polling over the entire course of the race so far, Joe Biden led almost from beginning to end. Up until the voting actually started, Biden was the clear favorite to win the nomination. Indeed, there really was only one other candidate -- out of a total field of 29, mind you -- that showed the strength to even be competitive with the former vice president, and that was Bernie Sanders. Bernie held onto second place in the polling pretty consistently, and this remained almost unchanged from beginning to end. Only one other candidate ever even rose into the ranks Bernie and Joe occupied, but while Elizabeth Warren enjoyed a big spike upwards (briefly snatching first place away from Biden), it almost immediately fell back to where she was really only challenging Sanders for second place. For all the media swooning over this candidate or that (this week it's Beto... no, no, it's Mayor Pete... wait, Kamala's looking pretty good!... hey, how about Amy's debate performance?), none of them ever saw their poll ratings live up to the lavish attention bestowed upon them by the media. The entire race, from even before Biden announced right up until the Iowa caucuses, was really one between only Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Which is where we now find ourselves, once again.

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Predicting The Super Tuesday Outcomes

[ Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 – 14:49 UTC ]

Welcome back again for our continuing series where we attempt to pick the winners of all the 2020 Democratic primary contests. This is really the second part of a two-part article, as yesterday I discussed at length the shifting nature of the contest after three of the moderate candidates dropped out (Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar). Today we're going to forego the "big picture" analysis altogether and just dive right in to the state-by-state predictions.

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