Clinton 232
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Trump 306
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Click for Senate
Dem 48
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GOP 52
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  • Strongly Dem (182)
  • Likely Dem (18)
  • Barely Dem (33)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (90)
  • Likely GOP (45)
  • Strongly GOP (170)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
New polls: (None)
Dem pickups vs. 2012: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2012: FL IA MI OH PA WI
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Can the Democrats Become a National Party Again?
      •  Why Clinton Lost Wisconsin
      •  Trump Lays Out Day One Plan
      •  Trump Apparently Warming to Ryan's Medicare Plan
      •  Trump's Grandfather Was Deported--to the United States
      •  Tulsi Gabbard Vows to Work with Trump
      •  Dean Calls Bannon a Nazi

Can the Democrats Become a National Party Again?

Democrats are an endangered species in much of the country. Here is a map showing the House districts as of Jan. 2017.


The map is pretty red. Many states have no Democrats in their congressional delegation. The Democrats do have 193 seats in the new House, but they are very concentrated, with 66 of them from just three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Referring to white working-class people, the chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party summarized the problem thusly: "There are people who are currently thinking that Democrats don't care about them. We've got to make sure they know we do." At a press conference. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seemed to agree that Democrats had ignored white working-class voters, once the bedrock of the party.

Another problem the Democrats must grapple with if they are ever to take control of the House is that their voters stay home by the tens of millions in the midterm elections while Republicans don't. This allows the Republicans to capture the state legislatures, which draw the congressional maps. For example, in 2010, Pennsylvania had 19 congressional seats and Democrats had a 12-7 majority in the delegation. The state lost one seat as a result of the 2010 census, but Republicans took control of the state machinery and redrew the map. Now they will have a 12-6 majority. Of course, the next census will follow the 2020 election, which is not a midterm, so maybe the Democratic phoenix will rise from the ashes more quickly than we might imagine. (V)

Why Clinton Lost Wisconsin

The New York Times has an article on why Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin, a state she was so confident of winning that she didn't even bother to set foot there. Turnout in the state was the lowest in 16 years. Of Milwaukee's 15 council districts, turnout in the five poorest ones was dramatically down, accounting for half of the overall decline. These are people who nearly always vote Democratic, and this year they didn't vote in the usual numbers. Part of the reason is that after Barack Obama was elected president, they expected their lives would improve, and they didn't. They probably don't know or care that almost everything Obama wanted to do was blocked by the Republicans in Congress.

Another reason turnout was down is Wisconsin's new voter ID law, which went into effect for the first time this year. How much of an effect that had is hard to determine, but Trump's victory in Wisconsin was only 1% (27,000 votes), so if the law prevented even 2% of the Democrats from voting, that could have made the difference.

Some of the people interviewed in the poorer areas of Milwaukee said that they admired him because he was rich and spoke his mind. Others said that other countries wouldn't have respected the U.S. if it were being run by a woman. The reporter didn't ask them if they respected Germany and the U.K., both of which are being run by women. (V)

Trump Lays Out Day One Plan

President-elect Donald Trump posted a video on Monday in which he laid out his six-part plan for his first day in office:

  1. Trade: Issue notice of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  2. Energy: Relax "job-killing" restrictions on U.S. energy production
  3. Regulation: For every one new regulation, two get stricken from the books
  4. Security: Instruct DoD to develop a plan for protecting the U.S. from cyberattacks and "all other forms of attacks"
  5. Immigration: Ask Dept. of Labor to investigate visa abuses that "undercut" the American worker
  6. Ethics: A five-year ban on administration officials becoming lobbyists

It is interesting how much Trump has said here, while at the same time saying so little. Killing the TPP is fairly concrete, of course, though Trump's GOP comrades in Congress may not be happy about it. Numbers 2 and 3 are just talk until we find out some specifics, while number 4 is surely the most meaningless item on the list; does he think the people in the DoD have just been sitting around playing solitaire, waiting for someone—anyone!—to tell them to get to work protecting the U.S.? Number 5 is also pretty vague, and Trump may find himself disappointed with the percentage of jobs being done by immigrants because (a) there aren't enough qualified Americans, or (b) there aren't enough interested Americans. And as to number 6, we've already pointed out that it's easy to get around lobbying bans by assuming the title of "adviser" or "special counsel" or maybe "King of the Britons." Meanwhile, among the "Day One" pledges from the campaign trail that are missing from the list: the wall, and repealing Obamacare. Maybe he's saving those for the second day. (Z)

Trump Apparently Warming to Ryan's Medicare Plan

During the campaign, Donald Trump was unequivocal when it came to his plans for the most sacred of entitlement sacred cows: "I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I am not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid." Now, it appears that Trump is seeing the light—at least, the one that emanates from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan would like to replace Medicare with vouchers and block grants to states, with an eye to shrinking (and likely eliminating) the program in the long term. Sometime this weekend, Trump's transition website was updated to include Trump's belief that we need to "Modernize Medicare" (English translation: vouchers) and "Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid" (English translation: block grants).

The liberal economist Paul Krugman, who is about as anti-Trump as they come, has written a blistering editorial about The Donald's change in gears. He argues that (1) it will be "one of the most blatant violations of a campaign promise in history," (2) the change will weigh most heavily on the white, working-class voters whom Trump claims to champion, and (3) it's bad policy, eliminating a remarkably efficient and effective government program largely because it undermines the Republican argument that more government does not solve problems. Assuming Krugman is on target—and his first two points, in particular, are hard to argue with—one wonders what Trump and Ryan are thinking. That voters won't notice the changes, which will ultimately mean less health care for more money? Or that they just won't care? (Z)

Trump's Grandfather Was Deported--to the United States

If only Prince Luitpold of Bavaria had been more merciful, the recent election would have been quite different. Donald Trump's grandfather, Friedrich Trump, left southern Germany at 16 for America without bothering to perform the required military service. The local government saw him as a draft dodger and stripped him of his citizenship. Once in America, he made his way to the Northwest and then on to Canada's Yukon territory, where he set up a restaurant-annex brothel. It was a big hit with the miners, and he made a fortune.

He traveled back to Germany several times, where he met his wife. She didn't like life in the New World and wanted to return to Germany. Friedrich tried to do that, but the local government regarded him as an illegal immigrant and tried to deport him. He wrote a recently discovered letter to the presiding monarch, Prince Luitpold, beseeching him to let bygones be bygones and let him stay in Germany. The Prince was having none of it, and Friedrich was deported back to America. Our researchers are still looking into reports that Luitpold threatened to build a 20-foot wall along the German border if Friedrich dared show his face again. (V)

Tulsi Gabbard Vows to Work with Trump

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the only Samoan American in Congress and a strong supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the primaries, met with Donald Trump yesterday. The two discussed Syria during the meeting. Gabbard opposes a no-fly zone in Syria. Why Trump would want to discuss Syria with Gabbard is not clear, since she is not an expert on foreign policy in general or Syria in particular.

After the meeting, Gabbard said: "I will continue to seek common ground to deliver results that best serve all Americans, as I have tried to do during my time in Congress." There has been some speculation that Trump might tap Gabbard to be ambassador to the United Nations. (V)

Dean Calls Bannon a Nazi

Howard Dean, in the running to reclaim his former job as chair of the DNC, was interviewed on Canada's CTV on Monday. When asked about newly-minted Trump strategic adviser Steve Bannon, he minced no words, characterizing the darling of the alt-right as a "nazi." He further explained that, "It's a big word and I don't usually use it unless somebody's really anti-Semitic, really misogynistic, really anti-Black."

In his time, Dean has certainly been known to put his foot in his mouth (see scream, Dean). However, if we assume that this was the carefully thought-out declaration of a veteran politician, then it was surely meant to communicate that the good doctor has not grown old and calcified in the last decade or so, and that he can still be a rabble-rouser in the mold of a Bernie Sanders. The Democrats had better hope, however, that this is just a campaign gambit, and that Dean's plan for the next four years (if chosen as DNC chair) is not to simply lob grenades at the White House. Attacking Trump didn't work for Hillary Clinton, and it's not likely to work for the next nominee of the party, either. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov21 Why Are We Surprised about the Presidential Race?
Nov21 Ellison's Opponents for DNC Chairman Start Fighting Back
Nov21 Warning to Democrats: Focus on Issues
Nov21 Trump's Infrastructure Plan Meets Congress
Nov21 How Trump's Tax Plan Worked in Kansas
Nov21 Trump Apparently No Fan of the First Amendment
Nov21 Pence Has His Own E-mail Problem
Nov21 Not Everyone Disapproves of Bannon
Nov21 Marine Le Pen Takes Huge Lead in France
Nov21 Programming Note
Nov20 Tom Price is the Favorite for Secretary of HHS
Nov20 Reid Claims FBI Has Explosive Information About Trump-Russia Ties
Nov20 Trump and Romney Meet
Nov20 Vilsack: Democrats Can't Ignore Rural Voters and Win
Nov20 Clinton's Lead is Now 1.68 Million Votes
Nov20 Trump Opponents Trying Hard to Flip Electoral College
Nov20 Zuckerberg Changes His Tune
Nov20 Pence Attends Hamilton, Controversy Ensues
Nov19 Trump's First Picks Thrill Hard-line Conservatives
Nov19 Report: Mike Huckabee Will Be Ambassador to Israel
Nov19 Bannon: We're Really Going to Spend a Trillion Dollars on Infrastructure
Nov19 Trump Agrees to Pay $25 Million to Settle Trump University Lawsuits
Nov19 WSJ to Trump: Liquidate
Nov19 Muslim Database Coming into Focus
Nov19 Whither Ted Cruz?
Nov19 Was Russia to Blame for Fake News?
Nov19 Democrats Hit New Low in State Legislatures
Nov18 Ryan Doesn't Like Pelosi
Nov18 Democrats Brace for 2018
Nov18 Kaine Will Not Run for President in 2020
Nov18 Trump Stops Ford from Relocating Plant...Or Maybe Not
Nov18 Proposal: DNC Chair Candidates Should Debate
Nov18 Did Paul Horner Hand the Election to Donald Trump?
Nov18 Fake News Outperformed Real News From August to November
Nov18 Who's to Blame for Steve Bannon? How about Jerry Seinfeld?
Nov18 Newt Gingrich Said He Will Not Serve in the Trump Administration
Nov17 Trump's Coalition Won the Battle but Will Lose the War
Nov17 Flynn Is National Security Advisor, Haley and Perry Reportedly Under Consideration
Nov17 Some Members of Team Trump Are Pushing Hard for Muslim Registry
Nov17 Draining the Swamp Isn't Easy
Nov17 Trump and De Blasio Are Fighting Already
Nov17 Sanders Named to Senate Leadership Team
Nov17 Once Again, O'Malley Drops Out Quickly
Nov17 Could Trump End the Culture Wars?
Nov17 Net Neutrality Is Probably Dead
Nov16 New Transition Team Discards Everything Christie Did
Nov16 More Information Leaks about Trump's Cabinet
Nov16 Clinton's Lead in the Popular Vote Has Passed 1 Million
Nov16 Republicans Who Opposed Trump May Be Primaried in 2018
Nov16 Ryan Appears Safe, Pelosi Not So Much