Tuesday Reads: Democratic Primaries in Kentucky and OregonPosted: May 17, 2016
Today there are Democratic primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. Both actually look pretty good for Hillary. She has spent quite a bit of time in Kentucky and has spent much more than Bernie on advertising there. His donations seem to have dried up, and it’s questionable whether he’ll even be able to buy TV ads in California and New Jersey. Hillary will be the nominee either way, but it would be nice if she won one or both of today’s primaries.
The Lexington Herald Leader endorse Hillary on May 5: Clinton best choice for Ky. Democrats.
Hillary Clinton is the most-qualified person running for president of the United States and has demonstrated the deepest understanding of how to address the challenges facing Kentucky. Kentucky Democrats should vote for her in the May 17 primary.
The difference between Clinton and her leading opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was evident in their appearances this week in Kentucky. Sanders appeared in Lexington and Louisville, giving his standard stump speech to large and enthusiastic crowds. Clinton’s two-day tour of Appalachia included a session in Ashland where she talked with about 25 people for two hours about the region’s problems and promise. Two other candidates on the ballot have not been active in the race.
Clinton, who has served as secretary of state and in the Senate representing New York, in addition to her eight years as first lady during her husband Bill Clinton’s presidency, has an impressive resume and a thorough knowledge of both this country and its place in the world. She’s smart, extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and — after decades of withstanding virtually every possible attack — unflappable. In a word, she’s presidential.
Read the rest at the link. Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear also endorsed Hillary yesterday. We won’t know the results until tonight–and I don’t think anyone in the media knows what will happen either. FiveThirtyEither hasn’t made projections for either state. There is an article by Harry Enten up on the site though: What To Expect In The Democratic Primaries In Kentucky And Oregon.
Kentucky doesn’t line up particularly well for either candidate demographically. My colleague Nate Silver’s demographic model, released in late April, projects that Clinton will win the state by about 2 percentage points. Why? In the last general election with an exit poll in every state (2008), whites made up about 75 percent of Barack Obama voters in Kentucky. That’s good — but not great — news for Sanders, who has done better with white voters than nonwhite voters. Blacks, meanwhile, made up about 25 percent. What could turn the tide for Clinton is that Kentucky is aclosed primary, which means only registered Democrats can vote. Sanders has done better among unaffiliated voters in open primaries. There’s been limited polling in Kentucky, but the last poll released there (in early March) had Clinton ahead by 5 percentage points.
Oregon is different. Nate’s demographic model gives Sanders an edge of about 15 percentage points. That’s because whites made up about 90 percent of Obama voters in the 2008 general election. Keep in mind too that Sanders won next door in the Washington caucuses in March by about 45 percentage points. Clinton is expected to do better in Oregon because, unlike Washington, Oregon is a primary and is closed to non-Democrats. I should note that the only two polls taken this year, including one taken this month, have shown Clinton ahead, so it’s possible that she’ll pull it out.
As Enten notes, Sanders will not gain any ground on Clinton even if he wins one or more of the two primaries.
I will share with you that Al Giordano is projecting that Hillary will win in both states. He’s pretty sure she’ll take Kentucky because of the African American vote; and he believes she could win Oregon because as many as 50% of the votes have already been made by mail. In early voting, Hillary is way ahead of Bernie. And remember, both Kentucky and Oregon have closed primaries, so Bernie’s treasured independents can’t vote.
From Politico: Can Hillary flip the script in Oregon and Kentucky?
Sanders victories are hardly inevitable in either state, and if Clinton were able to win both of them, she would finally put to rest the notion that her fellow Democrats are resistant to her candidacy, even if many seem resigned to having her as their nominee.
Polling in both races has been scant, and neither state allows independent voters to participate in the primary — a significant challenge for Sanders, who has struggled to win primaries that are limited to registered Democrats.
Still, Oregon’s demographics track closely with those of states where Sanders has prevailed. The Vermont senator has dominated Clinton in contests in nearby states with similar features: overwhelmingly white and very liberal with active grass-roots supporters.
“I have certainly been expecting — continue to expect — her to lose,” the chief strategist for one of the state’s top elected Democrats backing Clinton said. “I would have told you that I thought she was going to lose very badly. I still think she’ll lose badly.”
The strategist added that Oregon is “prime territory for Bernie demographically, all white. He’s been drawing big crowds of young people and all that.”
We’ll find out tonight.
In Bernie Sanders news, the Nevada Democratic party has filed an official complaint with the DNC about the behavior of his supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention.
A few more links on the Nevada chaos:
The Nevada Dems on Medium: The Facts about the Nevada Democratic State Convention on Saturday.
John Ralston: The sour grapes revolution that rocked the Paris Hotel.
The New York Times: From Bernie Sanders Supporters, Death Threats Over Delegates.
As you have probably heard, the great Al Giordano has officially announced that if Bernie supporters disrupt the convention, thus making it more difficult for Hillary to defeat Donald Trump, Al will move back to Vermont and run against Bernie in the Senate primary in 2018.
Bernie Sanders is campaigning in Puerto Rico today, and he’s apparently in a foul mood.
This man does not have the temperament to be President–not by a long shot.
In other news, we still have a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic wanna-be dictator running on the Republican side. A few interesting reads on Trump:
David Cay Johnston at The National Memo: Trump Used His Aliases For Much More — And Worse — Than Gossip.
What we can show is that when Donald Trump made deceptive phone calls over decades — posing as a Trump Organization vice president named “John Miller” or “John Barron” — he was not always puffing up his reputation as a philandering ladies’ man. In his fictional identities, Trump could also be quite threatening, as revealed in the brief clip below from Trump: What’s The Deal? — a documentary film that he successfully suppressed for 25 years with threats of litigation.
The story erupted Thursday when The Washington Post put online a recording of Trump posing as “John Miller,” in a 1991 interview with People magazine reporter Sue Carswell. The fictitious “Miller” described himself as a newly hired Trump Organization publicist for the company boss….
Trump also used the name John Barron or Baron (he later named his son Baron).
“John Barron” didn’t just puff Trump’s sexual boasting in the press. “Barron” was also menacing, as revealed in the [a] film clip [from the documentary] about his abuse of Polish immigrant construction workers – and the attorney who tried to help them.
Trump: What’s The Deal recounts a wide variety of Trump lies, exaggerations, and manipulations, but the misconduct of greatest interest to voters may be his threatening litigation in a scheme to deny payment to about 200 illegal Polish immigrants tearing down the old Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue (an act of architectural vandalism). Many of the men lacked hardhats or face masks, used sledge hammers rather than power tools, had to pull out live electric wires with their bare hands, in a building laced with asbestos — all in blatant violation of worker safety laws.
A lawyer trying to get the workers paid the meager $4 to $6 per hour that Trump owed them received a bullying telephone call from one “John Barron,” as recounted in the film:
Narrator: Chapter Six. [Voiceover various images of Trump Tower and Trump]
Threaten the lawyer that the Polish illegals hired after your cheap contractor defaults on paying them. Make sure that the threats are untraceable, in case the guy isn’t scared off.
Interview On Camera: John Szabo (lawyer for Polish workers):
“Mr. Barron had told me in the one telephone conversation that I had with him, that Donald Trump was upset because I was ruining his credit, reputation by filing the mechanics liens [legal action intended to enforce payment]. And Mr. Trump was thinking of filing a personal lawsuit against me for $100 million for defaming his, uh…reputation.”
Narrator: It turned out that Mr. Barron was Donald Trump’s favorite alias.
When this was revealed Trump said, “What of it? Ernest Hemingway used a pen name, didn’t he?”
You can now view the entire 80-minute documentary, which is a superb examination of Trump’s mendacity and manipulation of journalists and politicians. It’s available for $9.99 on iTunes.
Here’s a sobering piece from Simon Johnson at Reuters: Commentary: Win or lose, Trump could cause a recession.
Trump contends he can run Washington far better by treating the federal government like one of his companies. He has a very particular style as a real-estate developer, and his general approach to business could indeed be applied to fiscal and monetary policy. Any way that you look at what Trump is inclined to do, however, the result could lead to unprecedented disaster on a global scale.
Trump has already demonstrated a great ability to make the kinds of inconsistent comments that, — if coming from the mouth of a president — would scare investors, create a great deal of uncertainty, push up interest rates, lower employment, drive down stock market prices and cause the bottom to fall out of the value of other assets.
This kind of destabilization wouldn’t just have negative effects on investor and consumer confidence in the United States. It would spread rapidly around the world and drive up interest rates, bankrupt private-sector companies and plunge countries into a downward default-recession spiral. U.S. exports would naturally crater in this scenario because U.S. allies and trading partners would be in deep crisis and could not afford to buy American products.
The Trump ripple effect would really be a devastating global tidal wave of rising interest rates….
On debt, Trump believes the more the better. His companies issue a great deal of debt because, in the downside scenario, developers like Trump can find ways to pay less than the face value of what is owed. He recently said this approach is an opportunity the U.S. Treasury is losing out on.
The U.S. government, however, is not a speculative real-estate company. Alexander Hamilton realized, at the very start of the nation that having the federal government pay its debts in full, as well as assuming the states’ debts, was of fundamental importance. This was crucial not just for public finance but also for the ability of the private credit markets to operate in a reasonable fashion. And this is what Washington has done for more than 200 years.
“Risk-free debt” is how U.S. debt is described in the world of finance. Once you introduce default risk into those calculations, interest rates would spike for both the government and the private sector.
The paintings in this post are by Henri Matisse, of course.
I won’t be around tonight until late, but if we need another post, Dakinikat will post a live blog to discuss the primary results. What stories are you following today?