A lot has been said about this off-year election and the incredible sweep in Virginia. It’s important, because something is in the works. But what, exactly? Can Democrats capitalize on it nationally and apply a formula for sure victory in 2018 and beyond?
The short answer is “No.” There is no formula. If you look at who won and why, at least in the key swing elections, there is only one thing which is consistent. Good, hard-working people who were genuine and decent won consistently. Politics? Whatever.
What went wrong?
Trump’s victory will continue to create an uproar all around the world. Democrats in the US can be expected to be particularly vocal. After all, for the second time in 16 years our candidate won the popular vote but failed to break the Electoral College.
What can be done about this? A lot. But since we’re Democrats it starts with a lot of internal reflection. That may not feel very good this year, but it’s traditional and wise.
I will start with the obvious: Sanders people, you were right.
The election of 2016 is almost upon us, but already it has had its effect upon America. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf to the Great Lakes, this nation has been forever changed by the process that has unfolded over the last few years as never before. Yes, this great land now stands perfectly united in one solid belief:
We will all be glad when this crap is all over.
The next two weeks will set the tone for the rest of the Presidential campaign. In fourteen days we will know just how everything is going, from the themes we can expect to carry through to November to the polls telling us how the horse race has started.
How will it shake out? If you’re a Republican, you’re probably hoping it won’t be a disaster. Democrats have their own fears for a disruptive show, but appear to be better prepared for a traditional convention bounce.
Here’s what to look for over the next two weeks.
As the race for President narrows and already starts to be uglier, it seems as though everything is up for grabs. Everything, that is, except Republican stronghold Texas. The Barataria call for the contest to settle into the Lone Star State was met with an unusual amount of jeering in comments, social media, and mail. Have I lost my mind to left-wing gobbledy-gook?
Maybe. But I also know it’s going to be in play and that it’s worth explaining how and why. If nothing else, a few million dollars spent in Texas would scare tens of millions in Texas money out of the national race. Don’t think for a minute that a racist talk about Mexicans doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of the Republican establishment in Texas to start with – and signs that it will be capitalized on can and should create a real panic. Let’s break it down.
One week ago, Barataria asked if it was over. “It” meaning the Democratic presidential primary season and “over” meaning decided. The theory was that unless Sanders won at least a few of four key states on Super Tuesday everyone would write his political obit.
He won three of them – and this week a big surprise in Michigan. Combined with the death match in the Republican Party we have an unusually fascinating endorsing season ahead of us as both contests will definitely run through to the convention floors.
But what that is likely to mean is something very different in the case of both parties. One will be fighting to not lose and the other may wind up fighting to not win.
Before our robotics team meet started the kids unwound between the routine of the school day and the excitement of building a robot. Some of them were still bubbling from the visit from Bernie that took some of them away from our last meet. Sanders came to St Paul on Tuesday and gutted the team leadership for the evening – seniors eligible to vote for the first time & feelin’ the Bern!
But one thing quelled their enthusiasm quickly. “When I saw a video on how the caucus system works I thought it was a joke. Then, I found out that’s how it really works. Why do we do it that way?”
It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a tradition. The difference is sometimes hard to spot when you’re young, but Monday’s Iowa Caucus is not just a made for teevee event – it’s small town democracy at it’s finest, weirdest, and most personal. And that’s why anyone making a hard, definite call is kidding themselves.