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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Martin O'Malley's likely presidential launch will occur on the morning of May 30 in Baltimore's Federal Hill Park, the Democrat said Tuesday.

The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor, who is all but assured to announce a bid at the event beginning at 10 a.m., revealed his plans on Twitter and in a Snapchat video released at noon. The park, near the city's Inner Harbor, overlooks downtown Baltimore. The short video, which didn't have any audio, showed various scenes of downtown Baltimore, ending with a sign at Federal Hill Park.

The likely presidential hopeful also linked to a website advertising a "special announcement." If he enters the race, O'Malley will become the third declared Democratic candidate in a field that includes Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. read more

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades, with positions on issues from gay marriage to immigration that would, in past elections, have put her at her party's precarious left edge.

The moves are part of a strategic conclusion by Clinton's emerging campaign: that it can harness the same kind of young and diverse coalition as Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, bolstered by even stronger appeal among women.

Her approach -- outlined in interviews with aides and advisers -- is a bet that social and demographic shifts mean that no left-leaning position Clinton takes now would be likely to hurt her in making her case to moderate and independent voters in the general election next year. read more

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

As they have for the past two years, a majority of Americans (58%) continue to view foreign trade as an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports, while 33% view it as a threat to the economy from foreign imports. The third of Americans who see foreign trade as a threat is on the low side of what Gallup has measured in the past two decades. The greater optimism on trade from 2013 to 2015 comes after a stretch of skepticism between 2005 and 2012. read more

Senate leaders are moving toward a deal on President Barack Obama's trade initiative after a failed Tuesday vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.

The parties have been trading offers after Democrats rejected a fast-track trade bill on Tuesday. The latest bid from Republicans would give Democrats a chance to vote on several of their trade priorities as standalone bills, in addition to the fast-track measure. read more

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In a stern rebuke to President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats rebelled against his trade initiative on Tuesday afternoon and voted against even opening debate on the bill. Democrats have demanded additional worker protections before they would consider voting to approve fast-track trade powers for the president. Shortly ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected the demands, insisting he would not make any guarantees beyond a vote on the fast-track bill. The ensuing Democratic filibuster sank the legislation on the Senate floor, 52-45, with 60 needed to pass. read more


Gerrymanders, Part 1: Busting the both-sides-do-it myth

I'm going to pull a Corky: Sam Wang is an unabashed Democrat who "predicted" that the Dems would hold onto the Senate in 2014, so I am not buying into his conclusions since he is extremely biased and admittedly so.

While the GOP did get a few extra seats in Pennsylvania as a result of gerrymandering, the Dems also got seats in MD and CA for that same reason. There was an article in Bloomberg before the 2014 election that has the best description that I have seen for the disparity between the popular vote and House seats:

For the most part, deliberately drawn district lines aren't the reason Democrats have received fewer seats in recent elections than the raw number of votes might indicate. Gerrymandering, by conventional measures, has cost Democrats only a handful of seats, not close to enough for them to have taken a House majority in 2012, when Democratic candidates received more total votes than Republicans. Instead, what's hurting Democrats is "clumping" -- Democrats are increasingly rolling up huge margins in small geographic areas. The result is a few House districts with overwhelming Democratic majorities, which in the language of districting means "wasted" votes for Democrats (wasted, because in simple plurality elections anything more than a single vote win "wastes" votes for the winning candidate that could be used more efficiently in other districts).

[T]here's no requirement that lines be drawn the way they are. He shows that although overwhelmingly Democratic Philadelphia has been packed into as few districts as possible by gerrymandering Republicans, overwhelmingly Democratic Montgomery County, Maryland, has been sliced up by gerrymandering Democrats to help them get (relatively slimmer) majorities in a bunch of districts. After all, the only legal and constitutional requirements for district lines are equal population and the changing rules about ethnic dilution, neither of which forces the results that are considered the "natural" result of partisan clumping.

Why Democrats Can't Blame Gerrymandering

Did you read the article?

Unlike most, I always do.

It is not about the age of the candidates, but about the age of the voters and how the GOP is losing voters due to old age (death) and not replacing them as quickly as the DNC which is also losing voters, but not as many or as fast.

The article's main focus is not just on the aging GOP demographic but on appealing to the Millennials, and the point that I (and others) have been making is that you aren't going to attract 20 somethings with Septuagenarians. From the article:

"The [GOP] does rely too much on older and white voters, and especially in rural areas, deaths from this group can be significant," Frey says. "But millennials (born 1981 to 1997) now are larger in numbers than baby boomers ([born] 1946 to 1964), and how they vote will make the big difference. And the data says that if Republicans focus on economic issues and stay away from social ones like gay marriage, they can make serious inroads with millennials."

But what if Republicans aren't able to win over a larger share of the youth vote? In 2012, there were about 13 million in the 15-to-17 year-old demo who will be eligible to vote in 2016. The previous few presidential election cycles indicate that about 45 percent of these youngsters will actually vote, meaning that there will about 6 million new voters total. Exit polling indicates that age bracket has split about 65-35 in favor of the Dems in the past two elections. If that split holds true in 2016, Democrats will have picked up a two million vote advantage among first-time voters. These numbers combined with the voter death data puts Republicans at an almost 2.5 million voter disadvantage going into 2016.

The last Presidential voting cycle had a still "young" Barrack Obama running, which helped hold that split. If the best the Dems can do is Gam Gam or Skeletor, do you think that a 18-20 year old is going to be excited to vote for them?

Good luck with that.

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