#midterms2018

Does the data show Donald in the dumpster?

Midterm

This is a simple schematic of first term presidents and the results at the ballot box of their first mid term. Since 1910, the incumbent parties have invariably lost ground. More interestingly, Democrats had control of either/both House of Reps and Senate during Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr – all Republicans. Republican Presidents Taft, Harding, Hoover, Eisenhower and Trump lost the House at the midterms. Truman, Clinton and Obama suffered the same fate for the Democrats.

Trump achieved the highest number of Senate seats taken by a first term Republican president for over 100 years. George W Bush achieved rising numbers for HoR/Senate  post 9/11 but only Democrats have achieved the feat – Woodrow Wilson, FDR and JFK. Perhaps the irrelevance of the outcomes in the mid-terms is that despite the floggings Wilson, Truman, Ike, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama all were comfortably reelected for a second term.

Given the headwinds Trump was facing from the mainstream media, his unorthodox outbursts, twitter tirades and so forth, the electorate didn’t grant the Democrats a huge gift  they were expecting. Even worse they gave Trump a bigger authority to appoint SC justices should an opportunity arise by bumping his numbers in the Senate. Not surprising given the shocking gutter level political theatre over Justice Kavanaugh, vindicated by  victims confessing they had lied.

The Democrats should still be concerned that the $70mn spent on Beto O’Rourke came to nothing.  Beyonce also endorsed Beto. Oprah endorsed Abrams in Georgia – who is likely to lose. Taylor Swift endorsed Bredesen – who also lost. All four candidates openly supported by Obama lost. So much for celebrity power swaying electorates. It probably had a counter effect.

Even worse, in Nevada a brothel owner and reality TV star won his race despite dying last month. It is hard to work out what is the bigger tragedy. Voting for someone dead or being the competing Democrat to lose to a dead person. A Republican is to be appointed to the seat by county officials.

We shouldn’t forget that the Republicans had the highest number of sitting member retirements at a first midterm in the House of Representatives for 88 years. 25 seats had a new face. Republicans won re-election as governors in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maryland – three of them deep blue states. Where was the mainstream media on that?

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Turnout was good (for a mid term). 48.1% voted in 2018. In the last 100 years the average has been 41%. Only in 1966, did the first midterm of LBJ exceed this level at 48.7%. So much for either party causing a red or blue wave. Less than half of eligible voters showed up on November 6th 2018. More cared, but not enough.

Felons make for an interesting outlier subset. While it is hard to know their exact voting intentions, for the Gubernatorial in Georgia, would 219,431 felons have made a difference for Abrams? She trails Kemp by just under 100,000 votes. So if 55% of felons (the Georgia midterm turnout ratio) voted, 120,687 votes were up for grabs. Were it legal for Georgian state felons to vote, she would have been wise to campaign there.

Felons

Now that the Democrats have the lower house, one wonders why they have put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House? This is possibly to be contested. Up to fifty Democrat congressmen might oppose her for Speaker. Trump couldn’t wish for a better adversary as her litany of gaffes will undoubtedly embarrass her party. Pelosi represents pretty much everything Americans have come to despise about the Democrats.

More worryingly, Maxine Waters is being put in charge of the Financial Services Committee. At a point in the cycle where financial acumen is probably most required, this is an embarrassment, made worse by her open calls for payback.

The Democrats need fresh faces. Ones that will look for bipartisan support. If the Democrats embark upon a cocktail of revenge politics and look to push for investigation after investigation in order to impeach Trump but end up with nothing they will be seen for what they are – a party completely self-absorbed with petty vendettas. The toxic Senate debacle should have given them warning enough that voters won’t tolerate more political roadkill like that going forward.  Yet Pelosi will likely use her subpoena powers to drag everything through the gutter instead of working to improve things for Americans. Failure here will only lead the electorate to conclude they wasted two years and gift wrap 2020 for Trump.

This mid-term election was anything but a slam dunk. Put aside personal hatred of Trump, look at the data and see that Americans did not write him off as many pundits predicted. It should be more scary to realise that he is probably more Teflon-Don than he was in 2016. Second biggest mid-term turnout in history, highest net gain of seats in the Senate in 100 years for a first term GOP president, record dollars thrown at Democrat candidates backed by Trump-hating billionaires. At the end of the day folks, this is just the data talking.

Mid Term Turnout.png

Will 65.9mn voters buy a copy of Jorge Garcia’s book?

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‪From Michael Moore –

“Here’s how MLK Day was celebrated in Detroit today…

‪”After living in the U.S. for THIRTY years, a 39-year-old immigrant, a resident of metro Detroit, was deported this morning to Mexico. Escorted by ICE agents, he said goodbye to wife and two children before forcibly placed on a flight to Mexico at Detroit Metro Airport. His name was Jorge Garcia. He was brought here to the US from Mexico in 1978 when he was 10-years old, thus making him too old in 2018 to qualify for DACA.”

So let’s be clear, my friends: They are able to do this to this father of an AMERICAN family because YOU AND I are not putting our bodies between the Racist Trump’s ICE thugs and the innocent victims of a country that was founded in genocide, built on the backs of slaves and then maintained by its oppression of women.‬ WHEN do WE end this American Nightmare? When do we start to redeem ourselves from the abhorrent behavior done in our name by a man who was teeing up on the third hole at Mar-a-Lago while Jorge Garcia was being kidnapped and deported this morning? In the name of Dr. King, can we pledge tonight, together with our own families and friends, to defeat these bastards on November 6th and end this madness? I do! Please say you will, too.”

On one level it is extremely sad to see families broken up period.  On the other where does one draw the line on an election promise? Trump was voted in on a ticket to clean up illegal immigration. If exceptions are granted for one person on compassionate grounds surely anyone that can pluck heartstrings would be eligible to remain. Then the law isn’t enforced.

Indeed Mr Garcia may have been a hard working model individual. Presumably he never tried to get mixed up with the law on revealing his true status. One would find it hard to believe that he never saw being deported as a risk in the years of being there, especially after Trump won.

To be  clear, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals entering the country as minors that either entered or remained in the country illegally, were eligible to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work.

Complain all one likes about the stupidity of kicking out a supposed upstanding member of the community on an age technicality but to censure the President for enforcing laws on which he won his ticket once again highlights the double standards of the left. Suppose Trump let Garcia stay? One could bet a lot of dollars that Democrats wouldn’t compliment his compassion one iota. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. So his decision (playing golf on  a National holiday) is completely rational.

One shouldn’t forget the shameful actions of Obama’s DOJ which blatantly lied to 26 State supreme courts over converting 5mn illegal immigrants to citizens. So egregious were the lies that one Supreme Court judge ordered 5 years compulsory ethics training for every attorney in the DOJ for the scandal. Are lies ok on compassionate grounds?

America is getting what it asked for. Indeed in 2020 they can vote him out but the reality is that a growing number of citizens are seeing fortunes improve and on that basis self preservation will trump compassion every time. Having said that Mr Garcia will likely get a book deal for $100,000s to tell his story. The question is will 65.9mn bleeding hearts buy a copy? One guesses no…when the next opportunity to rant against election promises comes along.

All the polls point to Trump losing control of the house in the mid-terms. Don’t bet on it. No rational person would vote out a formula that is working after a decade of financial destitution.  Once again if you’d believed the polls at election time and bet the house on a Clinton coronation you’d have lost your shirt.