Lazy Saturday Reads: Primary Voting Moves West

Arizona Landscape, Jose Aceves

Arizona Landscape, Jose Aceves

Good Afternoon!!

On Tuesday, Democratic voters in the West will be voting in the Arizona primary and the Idaho and Utah caucuses. In each of these states, only registered Democrats can vote. The biggest delegate prize is in Arizona, where 85 delegates will be up for grabs. Republicans will also vote in the Arizona and Utah caucuses. For Republicans, Arizona is winner take all and Utah is proportional. All Democratic primaries are proportional.

I was hoping we were finally done with TV debates and town halls, but CNN has announced it will hold a town hall on Monday night that includes the five remaining candidate from both parties. CNN press release:

CNN announced today that Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer will host a three-hour primetime event with both Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls on Monday March 21 from 8 to 11 pmET. The event will take place just before the ‘Western Tuesday’ primary contests in Arizona, Utah and Idaho (D). 

Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will each be individually interviewed in the CNN Election Center in Washington, D.C. while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will be interviewed from the campaign trail.

The event will air from 8-11 pm ET on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol, and will be live-streamed online and across mobile devices via CNNgo

Scattered Rain, Grand Canyon, Ed Mell

Scattered Rain, Grand Canyon, Ed Mell

The Sanders campaign believes that Western states will provide good opportunities for him to pick up delegates, but there won’t be masses of Independents voting for him this time. He’ll have to appeal to Democrats. As of today, FiveThirtyEight estimates that Clinton has a 51.1 percent chance of winning Arizona and Sanders has a 22.7 percent chance. RealClearPolitics has Clinton leading 48.5 to 21.5. There hasn’t been much polling of the state though. Donald Trump is strongly favored on the GOP side.

As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, the Sanders campaign is still claiming the Hillary can only win in red states in the Deep South. Never mind that she won Iowa, Nevada, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and Ohio. He is also still peddling the fantasy that he is the candidate who is better equipped to defeat Trump in the general election, even though he has so far won far fewer popular votes than either Clinton or Trump. He bases this claim on his big rallies, his supposed ability (not demonstrated so far) to increase voter turnout and the media-generated meme of an “enthusiasm gap.”

Grand Canyon, Maxfield Parrish

Grand Canyon, Maxfield Parrish

At FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten explains why primary results can’t be used to project general election turnout: Primary Turnout Means Nothing For The General Election.

Republican turnout is up and Democratic turnout is down in the 2016 primary contests so far. That has some Republicans giddy for the fall…And some commentators are saying that Democrats should be nervous.

But Democrats shouldn’t worry. Republicans shouldn’t celebrate….voter turnout is an indication of the competitiveness of a primary contest, not of what will happen in the general election. The GOP presidential primary is more competitive than the Democratic race.

Indeed, history suggests that there is no relationship between primary turnout and the general election outcome. You can see this on the most basic level by looking at raw turnout in years in which both parties had competitive primaries. There have been six of those years in the modern era: 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008.

Check out Enten’s charts and detailed analysis of the question at the link.

Moon Rising, Barbara Gurwitz

Moon Rising, Barbara Gurwitz

This one is for Dakinikat. Eric Levitz at New York Magazine: The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana.

In 2010, the tea-party wave put Sam Brownback into the Sunflower State’s governor’s mansion and Republican majorities in both houses of its legislature. Together, they implemented the conservative movement’s blueprint for Utopia: They passed massive tax breaks for the wealthy and repealed all income taxes on more than 100,000 businesses. They tightened welfare requirements, privatized the delivery of Medicaid, cut $200 million from the education budget, eliminated four state agencies and 2,000 government employees. In 2012, Brownback helped replace the few remaining moderate Republicans in the legislature with conservative true believers. The following January, after signing the largest tax cut in Kansas history, Brownback told the Wall Street Journal, “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.’ ”


Louisiana has replicated these results. When Bobby Jindal moved into the governor’s mansion in 2008, he inherited a $1 billion surplus. When he moved out last year, Louisiana faced a $1.6 billion projected deficit. Part of that budgetary collapse can be put on the past year’s plummeting oil prices. The rest should be placed on Jindal passing the largest tax cut in the state’s history and then refusing to reverse course when the state’s biggest industry started tanking. Jindal’s giveaway to the wealthiest citizens in the country’s second-poorest state cost Louisiana roughly $800 million every year. To make up that gap, Jindal slashed social services, raided the state’s rainy-day funds, and papered over the rest with reckless borrowing. Today, the state is scrambling to resolve a $940 million budget gap for this fiscal year, with a $2 billion shortfall projected for 2017. Like Bizarro Vermont, Louisiana can no longer afford to provide public defenders for all its criminal defendants. Its Department of Children and Family Services may soon be unable to investigate every reported instance of child abuse. Education funding is down 44 percent since Jindal took office. The state’s hospitals are likely to see at least $64 million in funding cuts this year.

Superstition Mountains, Carol Sabo

Superstition Mountains, Carol Sabo

As we all know, Brownback’s and Jindal’s policies brought both states to their knees economically. For more detailed analysis, go to the link and read the entire piece. So why haven’t Republican presidential candidates been asked to explain why they are pushing the same tired policies that destroyed two states?

What has happened to these states should be a national story; because we are one election away from it being our national story. Ted Cruz claims his tax plan will cost less than $1 trillion in lost revenue over the next ten years. Leaving aside the low bar the Texas senator sets for himself — my giveaway to the one percent will cost a bit less than the Iraq War! — Cruz only stays beneath $1 trillion when you employ the kind of “dynamic scoring” that has consistently underestimated the costs of tax cuts in Kansas. Under a conventional analysis, the bill runs well over $3 trillion, with 44 percent of that lost money accruing to the one percent. John Kasich’s tax plan includes cutting the top marginal rate by more than ten percent along with a similar cut to the rates on capital gains and business taxes. Even considering Kasich’s appetite for Social Security cuts, his plan must rely on the same supply-side voodoo that Kansas has so thoroughly discredited. As for the most likely GOP nominee, even with dynamic scoring, his tax cuts would cost $10 trillion over the next ten years, with 40 percent of that gargantuan sum filling the pockets of Trump’s economic peers.

If any of these men are [sic] elected president, they will almost certainly take office with a House and Senate eager to scale up the “red-state model.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said of Brownback’s Kansas, This is exactly the sort of thing we (Republicans) want to do here, in Washington, but can’t, at least for now.” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s celebrated budgets all depend on the same magical growth that has somehow escaped the Sunflower State.

Maxfield Parish Cowboys' Hot Springs AZ

Maxfield Parish, Cowboys’ Hot Springs AZ

In an important op-ed at The Washington Post, Mark Barden and Jackie Barden respond to comments Bernie Sanders made during the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan. The Bardens’ son Daniel was murdered in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School  in Newtown, Connecticut.

Sanders is wrong about the lawsuit we filed after our son’s murder in Newtown.

Our son, our sweet little Daniel, was just 7 when he was murdered in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. We are among the 10 families suing the manufacturer, distributor and retail seller of the assault rifle that took 26 lives in less than five minutes on that terrible day.

We write in response to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s comments about our lawsuit at the recent Democratic presidential debate in Michigan. Sanders suggested that the “point” of our case is to hold Remington Arms Co. liable simply because one of its guns was used to commit mass murder. With all due respect, this is simplistic and wrong.

This case is about a particular weapon, Remington’s Bushmaster AR-15, and its sale to a particular market: civilians. It is not about handguns or hunting rifles, and the success of our lawsuit would not mean the end of firearm manufacturing in this country, as Sanders warned. This case is about the AR-15 because the AR-15 is not an ordinary weapon; it was designed and manufactured for the military to increase casualties in combat. The AR-15 is to guns what a tank is to cars: uniquely deadly and suitable for specialized use only.

We have never suggested that Remington should be held liable simply for manufacturing the AR-15. In fact, we believe that Remington and other manufacturers’ production of the AR-15 is essential for our armed forces and law enforcement. But Remington is responsible for its calculated choice to sell that same weapon to the public, and for emphasizing the military and assaultive capacities of the weapon in its marketing to civilians.

Indeed, Remington promotes the AR-15’s capacity to inflict mass casualities. It markets its AR-15s with images of soldiers and SWAT teams; it dubs various models the “patrolman” and the “adaptive combat rifle” and declares that they are “as mission-adaptable as you are”; it encourages the notion that the AR-15 is a weapon that bestows power and glory upon those who wield it. Advertising copy for Remington’s AR-15s has included the following: “Consider your man card reissued,” and “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered.”

Please go read the rest at the WaPo. I really hope Bernie Sanders reads it carefully.

Arizona, Jose Aceves

Arizona, Jose Aceves

Finally, here’s just one reason I believe Hillary Clinton will crush Donald Trump or any other GOP candidate in November.

CNN: Obama plans to campaign hard, with legacy on his mind.

Expect to see a whole lot of President Barack Obama this campaign season as he works to spell out what he sees as the stakes in the 2016 election and tries to defend his legacy.

As he approaches the end of his term in the midst of an election year that has been defined by heated, often controversial rhetoric coming from the leading Republican candidates, like GOP front-runner Donald Trump, the President is vowing to do all he can to make sure a Democrat replaces him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He also wants to retake the Senate and win more seats in the House of Representatives.

So far, he has headlined 35 fundraisers since the 2014 midterm elections and he has already endorsed 10 candidates at the state level, according to the Democratic National Committee.

“The President has been clear that as we get closer to the general election, it will become even more important that the American people understand what is at stake,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Friedman. “Do we continue to build on the policies that reward hard-working American families, advance our economic and national security, and address challenges for future generations, or do we stop in our tracks, reverse our progress and move in the wrong direction? This is a choice that the President does not take lightly, and is something he will lay out for the American people with increased frequency in the weeks and months ahead.”

Obama has implicitly endorsed Hillary four times now, and he has said he would not campaign for any candidate who doesn’t support “commonsense gun laws.” If she is the nominee, there will be an awesome team behind her–President Obama, former President Bill Clinton, as well as other prominent Democrats. Can you just imagine what a team Barack and Hillary will make on the campaign trail? I can’t wait.

What stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great weekend!

42 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Primary Voting Moves West”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    It’s not in the country, but here’s a great place for a Sky Dancing commune.


  2. bostonboomer says:

    Just a warning: The WaPo story about the AR-15 lawsuit and Bernie Sanders made me cry.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Bernie lately has becoming across as the “angry old white man”, shouting the same mantra of “millionaires and billionaires” over and over ad nauseum. If he honestly believes that the super delegates, all true members of the Democratic Party, to suddenly break ranks and endorse him, he is truly delusional. Bernie, who has escaped close scrutiny so far, has found himself under the gun and he doesn’t seem to like it very much.

    Step aside, Bernie. The numbers are not in your favor. It is time to coalesce around the one candidate who can “out trump Trump” and needs to begin that campaign as of now. You have made your point. Few of us disagree with your assertions. However, it will not be enough to overcome the GOP when it comes to the general. They will destroy you by merely saying “communist” who is offering “freebies” to the gullible. End of story.

    Hillary has withstood the fire and risen up as a result. Trump, or Cruz for that matter, would be a disaster for the nation at large. You know it. She knows it. Most of us know it so please do the right thing and step aside. Your chance of “victory” is as plausible as Kasich’s march to the convention: it ain’t going to happen!

    Trump may be a menace but those supporting him as the issue. How anyone could stand firmly beside this monster with his delusional meanderings is puzzling. The man is seriously crazy but it will take more than what you have to offer to bring out the voters in November and surely you have had to consider that during these last few weeks. He needs to be stopped and you are not the one who can do it.

    Your “election” is not going to happen. Pardon me, but your age is also a drawback. Your idea of a “revolution” is not going to materialized. Your “pie in the sky” is not going to take hold. Leave it to someone who has the experience, qualifications, and expertise to bring it all home.

    Now is the time, Bernie. Holding on until the end is not helpful either to you or the Democratic Party (of which you are not really one). Please,for the sake of the nation, step aside. It was a good run but it was never going to happen.

    You owe this to the nation.

  4. dakinikat says:

    I wish folks would pay more attention to Kansas and Louisiana. We were doing so well under Clinton. We were recovering from Katrina. I feel I live in a third world banana republic now. If you like trying to the living off ugly American tourist, this is the place.

    • redwoodk8 says:

      It is so painful to see what Republicans have gotten away with in those places and more (Flint). There will be a lot of hard work to bring them back. What’s that quote – “I can’t believe I still have to protest this s**t!”

  5. Valhalla says:

    Aw man, now I wish I was uber rich so I could buy that Federal Revival mansion for everyone. It’s incredible.

    I’m so very tired if hearing how the attendance numbers at Bernie’s rallys prove his support. First, does anyone seriously think Hillary couldn’t fill any of Bernie’s-size venues by at least double if she wanted to? And second, again, it’s focusing on the only measurements of enthusiasm the media can “see.”

    Hillary: 8 million+ popular votes
    Media: meh.
    Sanders: 7,000 seat venue
    Media: ZOMG! The ENTHUSIASM! (pees pants)

    It’s the math: Bernie could win all remaining March contests by 100% and he would still trail in delegates. Then it’s just Wisconsin and Wyoming, and then NEW YORK, kicking off a run of Clinton-favorable states. I haven’t done any calculations yet, but will she even need a win in CA by the time it votes in June?

    Dear Senator Sanders: It’s Closing Time. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

    More seriously, the articles about Kansas and Loiusiana are heartbreaking, and criminal. It will take years to undo the damage. We have to start now.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Reminds me of folks like Romney scrambling around fucking Ted Cruz.

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    The article on Newtown parents is heartbreaking. The AR15 shouldn’t be sold to civilians. Even Law Enforcement and the U.S. Military agree. It isn’t a hunting weapon, nor is it a weapon that can be used in the home for self-defense. It is a firearm that has no other purpose than killing a lot of people, quickly. It should be banned, along with high capacity magazine clips that allow the users of semi-automatic handguns to get off many rounds without reloading. These accessories allow people to increase their weapons fire power an additional 10-100 rounds. That’s just crazy.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Really funny satire from a man who gets it.

    Commentary: Hillary Clinton’s constant ‘yelling,’ mansplained

    • Valhalla says:

      Lol, terrifically, cathartically funny. “Because there is nothing more insulting to strong, in-no-way-threatened men than a woman who raises her voice. If we let that happen, we might hear her.”

    • roofingbird says:

      I do think that since last time around she has developed a churchwellian cadence and tone. I think she has done on purpose and to good effect. That it translates to yelling for men is hilarious.

  9. dakinikat says:

    From last fall but another person explains why no one who has ever dealt with Bernie thinks he’s an asshole.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Wow, that’s quite an indictment! But I’m not surprised by any of it. I’ve worked with enough people in my life to recognize the “I’m right” “you’re wrong” ,Self-righteous, unyielding, pontificating and boorish types.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Another interesting one. Thanks for digging these up!

  10. Ron4Hills says:

    Caught part of Trump’s Arizona speech on the radio. He literally shouted every word. Of course the talking heads called him out for it. No. No they didn’t. Just saying.

  11. jane says:

    Was trying to listen to some news. But MSNBC, our only somewhat news channel, had a Trump protest, then a Trump speech, followed by discussion of Trump and then a Trump biography by Chris Matthews, telling all about his accomplishments and the fact that he has “large cajones”. Just propaganda if you ask me.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Schmidtt is nuts, totally! I trust the opinion of the Vegas odds makers over anything the talking heads and political writers have to say.

      This link was in the comments section of that article. I’ve been seeing similar odds at other places. This time next year Trump will be nothing but an unpleasant memory and Bernie Sanders will be back in the Senate.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Schmidt is on something if he thinks AA’s will vote for a guy who has been endorsed by the KKK and David Duke and encourages his followers to beat up black protesters.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Something the article never mentions. Obama will be campaigning for Hillary.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Exactly!!! Trump will lose women by a significant margin and AA’s, Latino’s, by large margins.

      • dakinikat says:

        From your lips to the ears and hands of all the wisdom brings and the greater ethos!

  12. Fannie says:

    Awesome Music, Sound of Silence:

  13. Sweet Sue says:

    Wonder if the Media will be able to take their eyeballs off Drumpf long enough to cover Obama’s historic visit to Cuba?
    “But, Poppy, how does this trip affect the Trump campaign?”