To retain institutional integrity, should impeachment be the Democratic rallying cry?

635838115365780122-901575687_6358235333419573281092854367_donald-trumpOver the course of the last three weeks, progressives and concerned citizens have been worried about the direction our country is about to take. Of course, Donald Trump is only our president-elect and has not been specific on policy issues. Still, the people he has selected to fill Cabinet positions and to run the West Wing are quite worrying. We will have to take a wait-and-see approach before progressives and concerned citizens can give any hard criticism about actual policy.

However, if we look at some of the actions Donald Trump has taken since being elected our next president, it is worrisome. If we put aside the political rhetoric, he seems to be using his new position for financial gains, which in itself could be a violation of federal law (which still seems kind of fuzzy from what I am reading). Still, the point is that President Trump might do a number of things that could call for him impeachment within his first two years. Continue reading

Why Keith Ellison is important in the FDP Chair race?

This is just a quick note that I wanted to put up here…whoever Democrats select for the FDP Chair, as well as Vice Chair, will have a say in who the next DNC Chair is. Therefore, if you want real change when it comes to both the FDP and the DNC, keep that in mind when selecting the next FDP chair…because this time is really matters. So, if you are a Bernie supporter, make sure you ask your candidates running for State Committeeman or woman who they would support for not just FDP chair, but DNC chair, as their vote can either move the Democrats as a whole in a new direction, of keep Democrats stuck in the past.

This time, Democrats need to get this one right.

Florida’s presidential under votes 251% higher than 2012. Would it have helped Clinton?

voteOver the past few hours, we have been hearing about Michigan’s under vote problem. However, with most of the numbers now in, we are seeing that the State of Florida also had a massive under vote issue in the presidential election.

In 2012, the amount of under votes in the presidential race was 64,085. In 2016, that number has spiked to 160,601, a 250.6% increase in Florida’s under votes. If we look at the percentages, only .75% of people who cast their ballots in Florida did not vote in the presidential race. In 2016, that percentage has jumped to 1.71%. And yes, the current margin between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Florida is 1.27%. Continue reading

Repost: Let’s be honest, Democrats have a “white people” problem.

surrey_whiterock_dentist6Note: I wrote this and published it on November 10th, 2014. After I published it, there was a ton of backlash, including some hate mail. I took it off the website because of the backlash. However, with the recent election results, I decided to repost it because it is quite relevant to the current situation. While this is also about midterm turnout, it is also about Democratic messaging. Unfortunately, we are hearing many of the same arguments today.

Over the last week, Democrats have been trying to figure out why they did so poorly in the midterm elections. You have Howard Dean talking about “what did Democrats stand for”. You have other outlets talking about messaging. The Florida Squeeze has just published an article about a certain number of those in the Florida Democratic Party who say moderation is the key to electoral success. Basically, the opinions are all over the chart.

But midterm after midterm, Democrats always have the same problem…they cannot win white voters. No matter how you look at it, this demographic is the largest voting block in the nation, as well as Florida. Yet, the Democratic Party (primarily nationally) campaigns on issues that have no impact on white voters. As someone who fits this demographic, specifically the middle-aged, straight, white male voter, I ask “what has the Democratic Party done to win my vote”? Yes, that is a hard one to answer. Continue reading

Time to get rid of the Electoral College, and battle the myths supporters have created.

predictionOver the last few weeks, I have asked myself if we should get rid of the Electoral College. Was there a better alternative than what we have now? Should the Electoral College be reconfigured using the Wyoming Rule, where per district population is based on the smallest state instead of the 435 member rule? After examining a number of different options the answer was simple, move to a popular vote.

As I started thinking about it, I was able to get rid of one myth after another about why the Electoral College is a good thing. And as I was doing that, the Electoral College made less sense with each passing myth being busted. Slate listed a number of the myths in an article in 2012, and I am going to pick those apart one-by-one. Continue reading

Could Democrats’ “rush to judgement” lead to messaging mistakes?

11-14-15-hillary-clinton-cbs-debateSome of us saw it coming for a while, but for others it hit them on Election Day. The Democratic Party is finally at the crossroads of its identity. Will it go down the road of making identity politics (those regarding equal and civil rights) the cornerstone of its platform, or will it make a shift back to its working-class roots, which will attract more white voters.

Down one road, we have issues such as civil rights, gay rights, reproductive rights, and a host of other issues that are social in nature. The other road goes back to making unions strong, opposing trade deals that are deemed unfair, and bringing back jobs that have been sent overseas. These are the two messages that are at the center of the battle for the DNC. And for those who say we can do both…well, you really can’t. If one increases, the other decreases. That is just common sense.

However, was the message the problem, or was it the messenger? Continue reading

Mickey Mouse, #NeverTrump, #BernieOrBust. The impact of write-in votes in Florida’s 2016 presidential election.

il_570xn-962286710_rl2mNow that the numbers are starting to come in, we can start observing some voting patterns at the precinct level. One thing that is for certain (though we don’t have all the numbers yet), is that is around .9% of Florida voters cast a write-in vote for the presidential race. However, if you look at the Division of Elections’s site, they show only 153 votes cast for write-in candidates. The reason for this is that the state (and some counties) only count write-in votes if they actually wrote in the name of an official write-in candidate. Still, most counties do not do this until the official results are given. Therefore, during the “unofficial results” phase, counties will still give the number of voters who actually selected a write-in option at first, and then will adjust later. So in this initial phase, we get a lot of information that could be lost quite soon.

One of the possibilities discussed before the election was if voters who were upset with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump might write in a candidate instead of selecting a candidate on the ballot. With .9% being write-in votes, it is not enough to sway the election. Still, did they break on Election Day to favor a candidate? Continue reading

Political scientists, real forecasting models, and what Nate Silver is not.

Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive FestivalThose who follow me on Facebook know that I am not a fan of Nate Silver. Over the last few election cycles, many in the media have falsely claimed that Silver is a “political scientist” because he can “accurately forecast elections”. However, both of those statements are 100% incorrect, and this is why.

First, political scientists use theory to create their forecasting models. Basically, they say that A causes B, with B being vote choice. For example, most of the election forecasting models posit that if the economy is good (which is A), then the voters will reward the incumbent party (which is B). With Nate Silver, he does not have any theory at all. He does not suggest any causation as to why voters decided to vote R or D. Instead, he just looks at averages. Therefore, he just does math and should not be considered a political scientist. Continue reading

Time for the Florida Democratic Party to open up the playing field.

FDP_130109The current Florida Democratic Party bylaws state that the chair “shall be elected from among the county chairs, state committeemen and state committeewomen”.

So what…that is it? That is the choice for Florida Democrats? Only 201 people are eligible to run for Florida Democratic Party Chair? What if David Plouffe said he wanted to run the Florida Democratic Party (assuming he lived in Florida)? Could he? Nope, he doesn’t hold one of those positions. Basically, the current rules are bullshit. Continue reading

Actually, there was a #NeverTrump vote in Florida.

nggkowgpA few days before the election, I listed thirty precincts to watch to see if the #NeverTrump movement still had some legs. Here is a list of those precincts. My criteria for these precincts was that they needed to be strong Republican precincts (with a gap between Democrats and Republicans of at least of 20%) but where Donald Trump performed poorly.

Yesterday, Escambia County finally posted their precinct-level results, and therefore we can see if there was truly a #NeverTrump feeling in these precincts. And guess what…there was.

In 2012, these precincts combined voted 68.96% for Mitt Romney. In 2016, that number fell drastically to 60.78%, a 8.18% loss for the Republicans. Additionally, voter turnout in these precincts fell 3.33% compared to 2012. Of these precincts, Trump only improved on Romney’s performance in three of the thirty precincts. Also, voter turnout only increased in 33% of the precincts. Here are the final results of those precincts. Continue reading