Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Democratic Tea Leaves II

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 11, 2019

In a recent entry dated August 8, 2019, entitled Reading Democratic Tea Leaves I noted one, or two very fine, somewhat minor points overlooked by most pundits.

One, that like most other Democratic nominee candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden’s support has largely stagnated – even though it has been higher than most other candidates.

Vice President Joe Biden, Official Portrait 2013

And second, only two other candidates have had any SIGNIFICANT INCREASE in their level of support (as defined by polling) since the inception of their candidacy: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Since the announcement of his candidacy as the Democratic nominee for President, former Vice President Joe Biden’s support has gone from 29.0% to 30.8%. That’s an increase of only 6.21%.

October 26, 2016; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

In sharp contrast, “Mayor Pete” has gone from 1.0% and is now (August 10) at 6.5%, and has polled as high as 8.4% from April 20 through May 2. That’s an increase of 550% to date. If fluctuations are considered (low to high), that’s 740%.

Senator Warren, however, has gone from 5.3% and is now at 18.3% – her highest ever polling. That’s an increase, and fluctuation of 245.28%.

Senator Sanders started at 17.7% and is now at 16.5%. That’s a decrease of 6.78%. He has polled as high as 24%. His fluctuation is 71.43%.

Biden has fluctuated 59.23%.

Here’s some additional analysis:
There are 9 candidates who have qualified for September’s ABC-sponsored debate. In order of support (high to low, as of August 10, 2019), they are:
1.) Joe Biden – 30.8%
2.) Elizabeth Warren – 18.3%
3.) Bernie Sanders – 16.5%
4.) Kamala Harris – 8.3%
5.) Pete Buttigieg – 6.5%
6.) Beto O’Rourke – 2.0%
7.) Corey Booker – 2.0%
8.) Tulsi Gabbard – 1.3%
9.) Andrew Yang – 1.3%

Biden has recently ticked down, while Warren has steadily increased, Sanders has ticked up though declined over all, Harris has declined steadily after her rise when she challenged Biden on busing, while Buttigieg has remained relatively stable with slow nominal decline albeit with with a slight recent up-tick. All other candidates have less than half of Mayor Pete’s recent support of 6.5%.

If Harris continues her decline – and there is no present evidence to suggest or demonstrate otherwise – she will be relegated to single digit support within another 30 days – at least by the next debate. By then, the top contenders will be Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg.

As things now stand, 80.4% of those polled support Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg. Remove Harris’ 8.3%, and that’s 72.1%. In effect, because candidates Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg will dominate the field, it will be interesting to see to whom the remaining candidates will cast their collectively remaining 27.9% support, and encourage their supporters to do the same.

Biden, though he entered late, started polling at 29.0% purely on name recognition, alone – by virtue of his Vice Presidency to POTUS Obama. However, statistically, VPs don’t get elected to POTUS. It’s essentially a dead-end job, a veritable political graveyard.

As I had earlier written in the 6/12/2019-dated entry entitled 2020 Democratic Crystal Ball, in the 243-year history of our nation, “there have been 57 Presidential elections, of which only 14 Vice Presidents have ever been POTUS (24.56%), either through succession (because of the POTUS’ death in office, of which there have been 8; 4 natural deaths, and 4 assassinations), or through election independent of succession, of which there have been 5 – Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Nixon, and G.H.W. Bush.

“It’s worth repeating, that only 5 Presidents, who were elected independently of succession, were ever Vice President.

“That’s 5/45, or 11.1% – excluding Grover Cleveland, who was the only POTUS elected twice, not in succession, as the 22nd, and 24th POTUS.

“However… the United States Senate website writes this about Senators:
“To date, 16 senators have also served as president of the United States. Three Senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.”

“That’s 16/45, or 35.5%, of all POTUSes who were ever a Senator. And 3 of the 16, or 18.75%, were elected as POTUS directly from the Senate.”

Again, 16 Presidents have been Senators. That’s over 3x as many as have been VP. And of the 5 VPs elected as President independently of succession, only Adams, Van Buren, and Nixon were ever Senators.

Clearly, Biden is up against some very poor odds, and significant statistical improbability, despite his present polling numbers – which again, have remained largely stagnated since polling began December 10, 2018 (29.0% to 30.8%).

While some have conjectured that his verbal gaffes are some type of evidence of mental incapacity or unsuitability for public office by virtue of his age, I remind readers that his competitor Bernie Sanders is only a year and 2 months older. Biden is also a well-known life-long teetotaler, and is physically fit.

However, Biden’s undoing will be his 30+ year political history in the United States Senate… as Kamala Harris pointed out in Night 2 of the Democratic Debate number 1 by mentioning his opposition to busing to bring about an end to racially segregated public schools.

Recently, Biden penned an OpEd published today in the New York Times citing his support of a ban on assault-style weapons – yet the word “permanent” did not appear anywhere in there.

Joe Biden: Banning Assault Weapons Works
That’s why, as president, I will push to ban them again.

Biden wrote in part that “The 1994 assault weapons and high-capacity magazines bans worked.” However, there remains genuinely significant conjecture whether or not the law was as effective as he claimed.

But there is no conjecture about his role in the 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA), which created the so-called “Gun Show Loophole,” rapidly accelerated popularity of gun shows, allowed firearm sales via the U.S. Mail, and the Internet, allowed “straw purchases” of firearms, and undid several Supreme Court rulings.

The FOPA, which passed Congress overwhelmingly:
• Overturned six Supreme Court rulings and numerous regulations
• Allowed firearms to be sold via the U.S. Mail and Internet
• Limited Federal inspections of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL)
• Allowed FFLs to sell at gun shows
• Eased FFL regulations to allow private collectors to amass stockpiles of firearms without obtaining a FFL,
and more.

The FOPA has been described as “one of the most consequential gun laws of the past century and as a key political boost for the burgeoning gun rights movement.”

The National Rifle Association called the FOPA “the law that saved gun rights” because it rolled back numerous regulations – and Biden was instrumental in its passage.

When the bill was being debated Tuesday, July 9, 1985, Biden stated on the Senate floor in part that, “I believe the compromises that are now a part of this bill have resulted in a balanced piece of legislation that protects the rights of private gun owners while not infringing on law enforcement’s ability to deal with those who misuse guns or violate laws. During my 12 and a half years as a member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.”

Now, with Biden’s NYT OpEd, his contradictions on guns and their advocacy, will come under increased scrutiny.

Yet, as some have recently written, Biden is making an effective moral case against the POTUS. However, with this President, that’s not a difficult task for either Democrats, or Republicans.

And while that’s good, and even necessary, Warren is making the case that her plans are what will bring America back to its senses, and is explaining to the people the hows and whys her plans will work.

While on the campaign trail, she’s often said, “I have a plan for that.” And, as she’s noted, “You’ve got to start with a goal.” Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren

Often, the “policy wonk” and “nerd factor” has been neglected in American politics, much to the demise of our nation’s citizens, because frankly, it’s not ‘sexy,’ or exciting.

But by her explanations, Senator Warren is helping Americans understand the basis of long-standing policy problems (how we got there), and how those policies and laws to date have harmed average Americans and families. And her audiences are soaking it up, and drinking it in, which continues to be to her significant advantage – at least, to this point.

The last “policy wonk” who ran for the nation’s highest office was former Vice President Al Gore. But because he wasn’t an electrifying personality, who had teevee audience ratings in mind, per se, he was dismissed (described as “wooden”) – even though his plan to make the Social Security Trust Fund solvent into perpetuity by making it a “hands-off” account to be used ONLY to pay for claims upon it – was a solid, and winning plan to prevent the abuse under which it continues to suffer, he and his plan were deemed insufficiently exciting to garner the majority of Americans support, and he lost in a bitterly-divided election contested to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, over Florida election results in a few counties, and voter intent.

Eventually, the SCOTUS ruled in Bush’s favor, making it a landmark decision not only because of the question involved, but because it effectively decided the Presidential election, and declared Bush the winner.

It also marked the third time a presidential election was decided by the Electoral College, despite a majority of popular votes for the “losing” candidate. Rutherford B. Hayes (who lost the popular vote by 3%), and Benjamin Harrison (who lost the popular vote by 0.83%) were the first two. Bush lost the popular vote by 0.51%, Trump by 2.09%.

Nevertheless… Senator Warren is showing significantly POSITIVE signs and – if things continue as they have – may be on track to give Joe Biden a serious run for his money, thereby capturing the Democratic nomination for Presidential Candidate.

Warren’s ground game is important, and as some have described it, she “has built a monster” of a team in Nevada – a caucus state, where people-to-people contact is paramount to success.

Laura Martin, Executive Director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, a social justice organization, said that, “Elizabeth Warren just has a gigantic campaign. There are counties all over rural areas where some campaigns are just doing tours, but she has staff there. And that was a strategy President Obama had in 2008 when he won Nevada.”

There are 16 caucus states, which are (in order of caucus date): Iowa, Nevada, Hawaii, Maine, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Washington, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.

Historically, in the last election (2016), a little over half of those states (9) – AK, IA, ID, MI, MT, NE, ND, WY – and their 49 Electoral College votes were won (mostly, there were some “unfaithful electors” and outliers) by the sitting President.

The remainder (7), which voted Democratic, also had 49 Electoral College votes.

Of course the 10 so-called “faithless electors” of the Electoral College in the 2016 election were problematic not because of their number, but because of their inability to vote their conscience (some had their votes changed by the state), despite their earlier pledge. And that is a problem that needs remedy, post haste!

And finally… many – if not most – odds-makers in Great Britain and other areas where betting is allowed and conducted on practically everything – including American politics – are showing great favorability (at this point) to Senator Warren to win the Democratic primary, and thus, the party’s nomination as Presidential candidate against the incumbent White House occupant. A few are inclined toward Senator Harris, but only a minor fraction.

Stay tuned! It’ll be much more than a mere ‘horse race’!


4 Responses to “Democratic Tea Leaves II”

  1. […] troubling and long-time political faux pas and other problematic voting track records – such as being the father of the “Gun Show Loophole” by writing, sponsoring and voting for the 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) which […]


  2. […] his troubling long-time political faux pas and other problematic voting track records – such as being the father of the “Gun Show Loophole” by being instrumental in, and voting for the 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) which […]


  3. […] troubling and long-time political faux pas and other problematic voting track records – such as being the father of the “Gun Show Loophole” by being instrumental in, and voting for the 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) which […]


  4. […] From an earlier entry titled “Democratic Tea Leaves II“: […]


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