It’s hard to know how much credence to give to the predictions for the 2018 elections.
The polls are notoriously wrong with a heavy Democratic tilt. The theory is that people want to vote for a winner, but I also think that people don’t vote if they think their vote isn’t needed. So it’s a mixed blessing.
Ideally you want the race to appear close, but you want the person you’re supporting to appear to be winning. So it’s curious that that is exactly what the media is reporting about this race. Maybe it’s true, but the mainstream media have been into manipulation, not truth, of late.
The real question of the election is whether President Donald Trump can get his base out to vote, and evidently this base is invisible to pollsters. If it weren’t, the polls wouldn’t have missed the 2016 elections so completely. If Trump’s base gets out, and I think they will, then the Republicans will lose seats but maintain a majority in the House. Even the leftwing media is predicting the Republicans will pick up seats in the Senate.
The reason the House is so hard to predict is that you’re looking at 435 individual races and, in some, local issues are going to make the difference. People in Washington may think some congressman is great, but the people back home believe they have been neglected and that will be the deciding factor.
Dams, roads, schools, federal buildings and all kinds of local issues can have a much larger effect on House races than Senate races. In a close race it can make the difference between winning and losing.
So you have 435 individual races and, as our founding fathers recognized, states are different and see Washington through different lenses.
Nobody can accurately predict 435 races, but this is an interesting statistic: For the Democrats to win, in national generic polling they need to have at least a 6 percent, and some say an 11 percent, advantage over Republicans. This is because of the way the districts are drawn by the majority party, and in most states Republicans control the state legislatures. The majority party draws districts that pack the minority party into as few districts as possible. This means that the minority party, in this case the Democrats, win a few districts by wide margins and the Republicans win many more districts by far smaller margins.
This is also one of the reasons that some pundits think the Democrats are going to win big because the Republicans got greedy and instead of, for instance, drawing eight or nine completely safe districts, they drew 10 districts that favor Republicans but could still be won by Democrats.
In North Carolina, the Republican in charge of drawing the congressional districts, when asked why he drew 10 Republican and three Democratic districts, famously said, because he couldn’t figure out how to draw 11 Republican districts.
One other factor that the mainstream media seem to be once again ignoring is the size of the crowds that Trump is drawing to his rallies. Trump has such large overflow crowds now that venues are set up just for the tens of thousands who come knowing that they have no chance of getting inside. Huge screens are set up for people to view Trump inside giving his speech, and there are food trucks, lots of vendors selling all kinds of Trump paraphernalia, and live entertainment for that long wait before the event begins.
It’s a phenomenon and the Democrats have no one approaching the popularity of Trump on their side. In 2016, the mainstream media and its pundits said that the huge Trump rallies made no difference – that people came just to see Trump, not because they supported him.
The mainstream media were dead wrong about that and will be wrong again if they ignore the fact that Trump has an extremely supportive base. These are people who have been watching Fox News for so long they have forgotten any of those other networks exist.
With so many variables in congressional races, it’s best to go with your gut. My gut tells me that 2018 is not going to be that different from 2016, when the mainstream media predicted the Democrats would win everything and all across the country Republicans did better than expected.
Another huge factor in 2018, which is going to be even more of a factor in 2020, is that the monolithic Democratic black vote is coming to an end.
In many districts Democrats can’t win without winning over 90 percent of the black vote. So it doesn’t take many people who listened to Kanye West and thought he was making some sense to switch a sure win by the Democrat to a possible Republican win. The change is coming for a variety of reasons, one of them is the continually growing black middleclass.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight is being widely quoted as saying the Democrats have an 86 percent chance of winning the House. In 2016, the day of the election, he gave Hillary Clinton a 71.4 chance of winning. He missed Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In other words, he got what were considered the easy states and missed the hard ones.
Anyone can get the easy states right. In fact, you’d have to be kind of dunce to predict that California was going Republican or that Texas was going Democrat. What these experts are supposed to be able to do is tell us who is going to win in those battleground states.
North Carolina was listed as a battleground state because the national guys don’t know squat about North Carolina. Because North Carolina went for Obama in 2008, they think North Carolina is a battleground state. It’s absurd. North Carolina has two Republican senators and only has a Democratic governor because the former Republican governor managed to create a perfect storm against himself.
Looking back, it was like Pat McCrory wanted to lose the election so he did things to make the areas where he had the strongest support mad at him. There have to be a lot of people who voted for Sen. Richard Burr, Trump and Gov. Roy Cooper. I imagine a bunch of other people just didn’t vote in the governor’s race.
There was never any question that Trump was going to win North Carolina in 2016, or that Burr would win, but according to the national polls the presidential race was too close to call and Burr was in danger.
You have to wonder how many congressional races across the country are in the same category.
The way the news is reported these days is nothing if not dishonest. I heard a report on NPR about the fact that Angela Merkel has said she will not be running for reelection, which is true, but wouldn’t it be more informative to say that she is not running because she can’t win and if she stays on the ballot her party will lose? The report made it sound like she was retiring, not being forced out. Sometimes what you don’t say is as important as what you do.
The Hondurans and Guatemalans and others in the caravan coming north to the US are, according to news reports, fleeing gang violence. But if they are fleeing gang violence, why do they have to come to the US? Presumably the gangs are not following behind.
They have made it to a different country, so why don’t they stop and live in Mexico if their reason for leaving their homes is a fear of gangs? For that matter, why leave the country at all. Why not move to a different city in Honduras? Are we supposed to believe that the gangs are so after these people that they would track them down in another area?
But it’s not only gang violence that they are fleeing; they are also coming to the US because it is the land of opportunity. Free health care, free education, free food and, most likely, a free place to stay that is nicer than the place they left.
Imagine if you could walk to Canada and make 10 times as much money as you’re making now. Do you think you might be tempted to go? I think I would pack some snowshoes and head north.
It’s economics that is driving the caravan. Certainly they have gang violence in Central America, but we have gang violence in the US.
What drives me crazy about the mainstream media reporting on all of this is that they don’t differentiate between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants.
They say that Trump is contradictory because he is the son of an immigrant and the husband of an immigrant, so how can he be against immigration. Trump isn’t against immigration, he is against illegal immigration.
The US is a nation of immigrants, but not a nation of illegal immigrants. What if, as the Democrats are suggesting, there were an open border with Mexico. This country would be flooded, not just with Mexicans, but with people from all over the world who could get a ticket to Mexico and then come to the US.
There is no doubt that the US needs comprehensive immigration reform. It’s our country and we should get to choose who comes here to live. People want to come here because we have made this the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world. We have a responsibility to keep it that way, which means allowing immigrants into this country who want to become a part of the great melting pot – who want their children to grow up here and prosper.
My grandfather Einar Hammer immigrated here from Norway because he wanted to become an American. He named his children Joe, Mary, John, Paul, Bob and Ann because he thought those were good American names and he didn’t want his children to be stuck with a name that Americans found unpronounceable. There is also nothing wrong with people wanting to recognize their own heritage in naming their children. It’s the attitude that counts and it’s what makes America great.
If the mainstream media and liberals want to blame Trump for the bombs that were sent to at least 15 liberals and the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh. That’s fair, but only if they also lay the blame on former President Barack Obama for the 156 mass shootings that took place while he was president.
Mass shootings are defined as ones in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter. During the Obama years children accounted for about 25 percent of those killed.
I don’t see how Obama can be blamed for the 848 people who were shot and killed in mass shootings while he was president and I don’t see how Trump can be blamed for the mass shootings while he is president.
It is wrong to imply that Trump is in anyway anti-Semitic. His daughter Ivanka is Jewish, as is his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Their three children, Trump’s grandchildren, are Jewish. Trump is a family man. Kushner and Ivanka both work in the White House – something that Trump has been routinely criticized for. It would have been a simple matter for Trump not to include them in his White House, but he clearly not only but loves them but values their opinions.
Trump also did something that presidents since Bill Clinton have promised but not had the gumption to do, which is move the American embassy to Jerusalem.
A country gets to choose its own capital city. Israel chose Jerusalem, but American presidents one after another had promised to move the American embassy to the capital where it belonged but didn’t want to take the political heat. Trump was willing to take the political heat and did.
The shooting in Pittsburgh was a tragedy, but it is simply a fact that some people hate Jews and always have. To say that this senseless killing happened because of Trump is dishonest.
So you can’t say you’re a nationalist because it is racist. It’s hard to find anything racist about being an American nationalist. Don’t we want the president to be a nationalist?
Words have meanings and according to Merriam Webster the definition of nationalism is “loyalty and devotion to a nation especially : a sense of national consciousness (see CONSCIOUSNESS sense 1c) exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.”
It seems like a president who wasn’t a nationalist would be a big problem. The president should put the nation first. In fact, that is what Trump keeps telling the American people he is doing with his trade deals and tariffs. Trump is putting America first.
The main point is not to encourage the development of other countries but to ensure that Americans that produce goods can sell them on an international market without being penalized for being an American.
The past trade deals have been more about globalism. The idea being that we should be helping the world, not our own country. Trump disagrees with that philosophy and so far he has worked out very favorable deals for the US and is bringing industry back.
China is still a problem because China has always believed in China first, and the past trade deals it has entered into have allowed China to become a manufacturing powerhouse. Trump isn’t interested in helping industry in China unless it is going to benefit US industries more.
It’s also the root of Trump’s immigration policy. The immigration policies of the US should benefit America first.
His defense policy is to make certain that the world knows we have the most powerful military and that we will use it if we are threatened. Trump did that with North Korea and brought about talks that experts said were impossible. When was the last time Kim Jong Un launched a missile or did nuclear testing?
Putting America first works.
So Hillary Clinton jokes that all black men “look alike” and it’s funny. Can you imagine the mainstream media’s response if Trump said that all black men look alike? The Democrats would be calling for his impeachment, not that they aren’t already. But he would be branded a complete racist.
When Trump used the term “nationalist,” a perfectly acceptable term meaning someone who cares first about the nation, the left said that it was a “dog whistle” to “white nationalists.”
First of all, the idea that Trump sends secret coded messages to his supporters is a conspiracy theory right up there in the aluminum foil hat category. But because it is a conspiracy theory about Trump, it is considered perfectly reasonable by the mainstream media.
Somehow – perhaps they are given secret decoder rings – the deplorables and dregs of society that support Trump know how to decode these secret messages. And I’ll have to say that as a Trump supporter I am pretty upset that I don’t have a decoder ring.
Maybe this has been going on for a long time and those of us not on the inside didn’t understand what was happening. Maybe when former President Obama said, “Marine corpse” instead of “Marine Corps,” he was sending a secret message to his supporters that he was going to underfund the military so much that it would soon be dead.
Could it be that when Obama said that their were 57 states, the real message was that he was going to open the borders, in effect creating more states, since crossing what was an international border between the US and Mexico would be no different than going from North Carolina to South Carolina.
Maybe during the entire eight years Obama was president, his gaffes were not gaffes at all but cleverly designed secret messages to his most ardent supporters.
Trump is talking about eliminating birthright citizenship for babies born in the US to illegal immigrants. Trump says that his legal team has told him he can do it by executive order. His opponents say the change would require a constitutional amendment. No doubt if Trump does issue such an executive order then the legality of it will be decided by the US Supreme Court.
It doesn’t make sense for someone who has come to the US illegally and has a baby here that the baby is a US citizen even though the mother has broken US laws to be here. If the mother is in this country legally that is a different story.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan immediately said that Trump couldn’t do that, which may be more based on the tensions between the executive and legislative branches than anything else.
Congress hates executive orders because they don’t need congressional approval. Obama was famous for issuing executive orders and Congress hated those also. It isn’t necessarily a Democrat or Republican thing as much as a legislative versus executive thing. Congress thinks it should be the only one to make laws, with some justification, and executive orders sidestep Congress altogether.
Neither Ryan nor Trump are attorneys and actually it doesn’t much matter what attorneys think except for the nine attorneys on the Supreme Court; and actually it only matters what five of them think. If the White House can find legal justification for taking that action by executive order, there will be a flurry of lawsuits. Nobody knows what the judges will decide, but if the case goes to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California it will be found completely and utterly unconstitutional.
However, according to legal experts, the courts have never definitively ruled on whether the babies born on US soil to illegal aliens are US citizens, which means that, despite all the howling from the left and hollering from the right, nobody actually knows what the law is.