Booker opens lead against McGrath

We’re still about 5 or 6 days from having the full results for this Kentucky Senate Primary race, but it looks like things are a lot closer than anyone had expected.

Despite being hailed as an early favorite of the Democratic party, Amy McGrath has consistently struggled with the very voters that the focus groups say she’s supposed to bring in.

Polling consistently showed McGrath with a significant lead in Kentucky’s Senate Primary race, but the trend reversed suddenly as protests and riots rocked the nation. Quite contrary to the expected backlash that moderates feared, this outbreak of protests has seemingly pushed the electorate toward the left. Self-identified centrists suddenly saw the winds shifting to the left, and they’ve come along for the ride.

Will Booker prevail? Again, it is too early to know for certain. He appears to be absolutely dominating among in-person voters in Lexington and Louisville, but there was also a huge surge of mail and absentee voting that has yet to be counted. Since Booker’s surge has been so recent, it’s quite possible that many of these mailed in votes were submitted before the protests shifted public opinion.

Regardless of who wins in the primary, there will still be an uphill battle to unseat McConnell. The moods and winds have shifted though, so this challenge no longer seems impossible.

The week of national police riots

While such an event is new for most Americans (especially white ones) it is not a unique concept as it has occurred many times in states and nations that are considered corrupt, less developed, or failed.

Please be warned: The following images and videos are extremely graphic and disturbing. Links are provided here for informational purposes. It is important for Americans to understand what is going on in this country so that we have any hope of fixing it.

Florida Surrenders to Covid-19

Today, June 6th, marked the 4th consecutive day of 1,000 or more positive coronavirus diagnoses in Florida. We’re about two weeks from Memorial Day, and that’s the turnaround time we should expect from the time of infection to the positive diagnosis. 

While we did manage to “bend the curve” we never did stamp the virus out. All of the efforts we put in from March to June merely stabilized the rate of spread. Without those actions, the number of new cases per day would continue to grow until approximately 60 to 70% of the population has been infected. 

So why are we declaring victory? The risk today is just as real as it was in March when we tried to bend that curve flatter. 

Frankly, the economy (and maybe the fragile American psyche) just can’t handle that much effort for someone else’s benefit. This impatience and self-centered attitude has been multiplied by incompetent leadership that has not been able to leverage our efforts at a higher level with things like:

  • Case tracing
  • Central quarantine
  • Guidance on masks and behavioral modifications

Individuals have been left on there own, largely, with a few extra bucks to offset whatever challenges they face. There is little to no coordinated effort except the effort to restart the economy – and that’s mostly been at the expense of low income workers and people of color who cannot telecommute to their office jobs.

Maybe it’s no wonder that people are mostly going to protest now that they’re finally going back out.

Boris Johnson and Coronavirus: A story in three acts

File this in the “who could have possibly seen this coming” file.

The queen gave some sort of inspirational speech, but let’s just say that the UK’s coronavirus response has been about as great as Brexit.

And it’s Biden’s to lose

Despite a strong start for Bernie Sanders and his revolution, the establishment forces have convincingly coalesced around Joe Biden.

Facing non-viability on the eve of Super Tuesday, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg both suddenly ceded their campaigns to endose Joe Biden. Rumors circulated that Obama had nudged some reluctant competitors toward accepting their fate.

Regardless of who called the shots and who pulled the strings, the sudden alignment of such seemingly bitter rivals helped to propel Biden toward a significant lead over both Bloomberg and Bernie. While Sanders managed to hold an edge in California, his margins were ultimately slim, and Joe carried the night in most of the other contests.

Tonight wasn’t much different. Bernie seems to have small leads on the west coast, but the prospect of a united Democratic front has won over swing voters and the once-mythical “Never-Trump Republican.” These oft-discussed but rarely seen conservatives believe in right wing values like limited government and economic non-intervention, but they draw the line at the crass and brutal methods that a populist like Trump carries them out with. Unsurprisingly, these voters are just fine with Biden while fears of Bernie keep them up late at night.

Biden seems immune to criticisms on policy, competency, or even basic awareness of his surroundings. It has been suggested that we wouldn’t see much of him during his administration, while various factions of the old Obama coalition wage a sort of civil war for influence behind the scenes.

Voters seem to hope that he is a figurehead – a blank slate and symbol of, well, decency? Joe might not be the smartest guy in the room, or the hippest, or the most connected, or the coolest… but dangit, he’s probably a good guy and he’s been through some shit.

That might be exactly where the median voter is right now, so if this race is anybody’s, it’s Joe Biden’s to lose.

Polls show Bernie surging into Nevada

The final state-wide polls for the Nevada primary caucus have shown a huge surge for Bernie: from 25% to 30% in just the last week. Individual polls have shown numbers as high as 35%, but there aren’t enough samples to know if these are outliers or indicators of a strong upward trend.

Entrance and exit polls – although notoriously unreliable – are also showing a strong Bernie performance:

Beyond early guesses at who will win tonight, and with what margins, there are some other interesting data points we can clean from the flurry of polls aimed at primary participants:

Conservative Democrats have long cited the large number of Democrats who identify as conservative and moderate in their opposition to Bernie (ie: strong liberals do not have a majority).

But what this really shows (and it can also be derived from support for M4A) is that a lot of Democrats who call themselves moderate also favor progressive values and politicians. The reality of 2020 is that moderate Democrats are, for the most part, progressives. Of course, I’m talking about voters & not representatives, because we’ve still got a bit of a gap there.

New Hampshire Coming Down to Pete vs. Bernie

Based on the current polling averages at 538

While the deadline for candidates to contest results in Iowa still isn’t here yet, New Hampshire almost is. Voting will occur on Tuesday – and we’re hoping the results will actually be available in a timely fashion.

Iowa is a complete dumpster fire right now, and the failure of the state party echoes the many failures of the national party over the last decade: most notably, the failure to stop Trump’s ascent to national political supremacy.

While the party admits that many of the results are faulty or based on flawed mathematics, they also appear to be taking a stance that their count is final and cannot be contested further. The acceptance of formal complaints appears to be a mere formality at this point. If I’m wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised…

Anyway, these Iowa results seem to have two major winners and one big loser.

The winners are Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, and the loser is Joe Biden. Both Pete and Sanders are seeing significant gains in last-minute New Hampshire polling, while Joe’s prior standing has utterly collapsed. Just as many on the left predicted, Biden’s campaign relied too heavily on the idea of electability. As soon as he suffered his first defeat, there was no charming personality or popular policy to fall back on.

Pete now has the mantle of electability among centrist Democrats – and he seems to have plenty of allies on non-Fox cable news outlets, as well. He’s exactly the kind of candidate that the op-ed pages at the New York Times and Washington Post have been waiting for. Whether or not he has a fan base beyond that demographic is yet to be seen. There haven’t been a whole lot of national polls since then, but the distribution of the numbers in NH and SC seem to indicate that Pete’s support remains regional (and by regional, I mean that he only does well with white people).

Bernie has also received a modest boost from his strong finish in Iowa. He seems to have picked up some of Biden’s prior supporters – people who liked Bernie’s ideas but feared he couldn’t win elections. Seeing him then defeat their exemplar of electability probably converted at least a few.

Warren’s campaign appears to have run out of steam. Some of her tactics have been questionable at best, and it just doesn’t seem to be working out for her. In particular, she attempted to approach the debate with a fiery tone but moderate solutions. That’s backwards: if your tone implies urgency, then the solutions must be urgent.

Amy Klobuchar appears to have played the act a little better – at least at the debate – as her poll numbers are actually up a little bit despite her poor ranking in Iowa.

New Hampshire is just around the corner, and hopefully in a few days we’ll have new insights in to the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Right now it definitely looks like a contest between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, but Pete has big weaknesses once we leave the midwest and rural New England. In the national rankings, Bernie looks increasingly dominant – and his path to nomination seems to be laid out with little to stand in his way.

Bernie declares victory in Iowa

It’s been a wild few days for those of us who are wondering who won Iowa – and we still don’t have a final, official count.

While Pete Buttigieg appeared to take an early lead, Bernie continued to surge as more results trickled in.

In the last few hours, results have started coming in from satellite caucuses – eligible Iowa voters who weren’t able to participate in the regularly scheduled events. Some of these included Iowans abroad, as well as those who work non-standard shifts. An anecdote from the field helps explain why Bernie did so well with these voters:

For several nights, they canvassed outside the factory from 10 PM to 3 AM, engaging workers in conversation as their shifts ended. The campaign organizers spoke to workers in multiple languages about their lives, their work, and Sanders’s platform and campaign.

Pete Buttigieg also declared an early victory in Iowa – the night of the election, even. He’s been riding a big wave of momentum since then, but it turns out he may not have won after all.

So after about two and a half days, the status in Iowa is as follows:

  • Buttigieg – declared victory with 2% of votes released
  • Sanders – declared victory with 97% of votes released
  • Warren – mostly quiet, although she has canceled some ad spend
  • Biden – mostly in disarray

But who knows? Tom Perez suddenly wants a recount just as soon as it became clear that Bernie would win:

All eyes… still on Iowa

Well it’s been more than 12 hours since we were supposed to have results from the Iowa Caucus, and it doesn’t look like we’re much closer to a resolution than we were back then.

After the New York Times reported the first 1-2% of results, everything just paused.

Reports started trickling out about caucus chairs sitting on hold with the state party for up to an hour – just trying to provide results.

Word eventually broke that the software designed to report and share the first and second alignment totals were experiencing some nonspecified issues. Users reported crashing on switching screens or going to sleep mode, and rumors surfaced that the database was down or incorrectly tallying the data.

Buttigieg and Klobuchar seized on the opportunity to declare a victory for themselves, while the Sanders campaign posted their totals for the precincts where they had captains who recorded results. Sander’s numbers showed him in first with about 28% of the delegates, and Buttigieg posted very similar data showing him with a similar 28% lead in the districts he had captains at.

Rumors have circulated about Shadow Inc, the publisher of the software that seems to be at the center of this mess. Several campaigns, including Buttigieg and Gillibrand, purchased software services from the firm, as did the Iowa and Nevada state parties. The founder of Shadow Inc also expressed personal enthusiasm for Pete, so his early declaration of victory coupled with operational breakdown and the appearance of impropriety has already turned quite a few campaigns sour.

As of noon, there is no official word from the state party on who won or when results will be available. Last night they were claiming all the data was available and merely needed to be confirmed, and today the latest report from WaPo is that staffers are being dispatched to retrieve the physical paper ballots to confirm the data.

They claim the results will be “as soon as possible” and that their goal is to publish them today, but there’s likely to be a lot of further contention about what those results say and whether or not they can be trusted.

Biden calls it an early night, pundits spike the story

Biden appears to be performing well below expectations while Sanders and Warren carry the night. Pete has had a few good turnouts, but the overall picture still looks a little bleak for his campaign right now.

Sanders also seems to have a strong presence, but it might not be quite what he needed to achieve solid front-runner status. The real question will be how much of Biden’s support was fair-weather fans who assumed he could coast to victory, or how many of them will flip over to Warren.

If the next state or two proceed in a similar fashion, we could very quickly be faced with a Bernie vs. Warren matchup that might resurface some unpleasant comparisons to 2016.

Next Page »