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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Let’s go to the Watts News Network Electoral Map!!!

It is worth noting that yes, the polls have tightened and in some instances have given Trump a lead in a few key states. The problem I am seeing with some of the states that appear to trend in Trump’s direction is that 1) a couple of these states such as Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, have not voted for a Republican since the days of Reagan-Bush or in the case of Minnesota, Richard Nixon; 2) that certain states have demographics that are not favorable to Trump such as Florida with its diverse population from I-4 southward, North Carolina with a sizeable black voting bloc, and Nevada and Colorado with sizable Latino demographics; and the big one: 3) the advantage of field operation.

Again, Clinton is running a standard campaign while it appears that Trump is following the playbook that won him the Republican nomination and to some extent what Senator Sanders relied too heavy on. Rallies are great to motivate your troops, the cable news has been “All Trump, All The Time,” and trending hashtags are a way to get attention, but as shown with the Sanders campaign, rallies and tweets does not necessarily lead to votes. You have to make the phone calls and wear out shoe leather which is what the Clinton team is doing.

The Clinton campaign is making sure that people are registered to vote and targeting specific voter groups in the same way that the Obama team did in their successful efforts in the 2008 primary and general election and the 2012 election. Note that that is THREE successful elections. The Clinton campaign has brought on some of the folks from the Obama team to help with the campaign that mastered the data driven strategy. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has foregone the data efforts and has turned the efforts over to getting out their vote to the Republican National Committee. This will likely put the Republicans at a disadvantage not just heading into the upcoming general election but possibly in future presidential elections as well.

Speaking of the election, did you know that voting is going on right now as I am writing this?

It is.

I am sure the Clinton campaign has every absentee and early vote date circled on their calendar between now and 8 November. It is also why the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times got their endorsements out as early as they did.

The goal of early voting, as exhibited by the Obama team, was the build a voter bank in order to withstand a potential Republican surge as Election Day gets closer (43 days, but who’s counting anyways…?). It also serves another purpose for the voters: the sooner you vote, the sooner the campaigns can stop contacting you and they can move on to other voters. Also, if something extreme should happen to a voter between now and Election Day the vote will still count. In 2008, Barack Obama’s grandmother passed away in the final days of the campaign. She got her vote in nearly a week before her passing.

The good news for the Clinton campaign out of North Carolina is that the number of Democrats who have returned their ballots is currently outpacing the number of Republicans by eight points. At this point four years ago, it was Republicans who were leading the early vote total in North Carolina by five points, and the final tally had Obama lose the state by two points. Unaffiliated voters make up 25% of the ballots returned. Now there is caveat of that we do not know what the vote totals are, but just by rough math alone at this point, Republicans would have to win nearly two-thirds unaffiliated voters in order to get to 50%.

My first electoral prediction was based on what the polls and electoral map looked like at the time and I still think that it is a plausible map. Even though Clinton’s lead has shrunk in both national and key state polls it is worth pointing out that she has three key advantaged.

First, the demographics still favor her. There is no way that Trump is going to get greater than 10% of the black vote and match the same level of Latino/Hispanic vote that W. Bush (40% in 2004), McCain (31% in 2008), and Romney (27% in 2012) received in previous elections. Trump might do better with white voters, but the split might be among those with some form of higher education vs. those without. Right now whites with bachelor’s degree or higher trending towards Clinton is why Trump is only winning all white voters by 11 points. Compare to 2012, Romney won the white vote by 20 points… and still lost the election.

And again as pointed out earlier she is running a professional campaign while Trump is doing a patch job at running for president.

And the last factor that favors Hillary Clinton is her surrogate team: Senator Elizabeth Warren, her running mate Senator Tim Kaine, former president Bill Clinton, the current vice-president Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and one more Democratic heavy hitter…

The latest Real Clear Politics average has Obama’s approval at 50.2%. Most recent Gallup survey among 1500 adults has the president at 54% and an ABC-Washington Post survey from 8-11 September gives him a 58% approval rating. Compared to Ronald Regan at the same time period in 1988, he enjoyed a 53% approval rating.

So… which former Republican presidents are stumping for Trump? Any well-known and beloved Republicans are out there campaigning for him?

Actually… it was revealed that George H.W. Bush is possibly voting for Clinton.

Anyone else… silence.

So the pre-debates map is as follows…


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