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March 17, 2016



Tomi, it can even get worse:

Donald Trump on brokered convention: 'I think you'd have riots'

If there are indeed riots at the convention, or if the Democrats can convince a sizable fraction of the independents that Trump got the nomination with threats, the GOP will truly go down in flames.


The GOP senators see the train coming and are running out of its way. It is clear no one in the top of the GOP believes in Trump's chances.

GOP senators break emergency glass on Trump plans

Republicans believe their incumbents can use customized approaches to motivate cross-party voters and ward off a Trump-led disaster.


In other news the racist Kenyan Muslim communist president (who has a history of using divisive language and has divided USA beyond repair) has nominated Garland, a moderate, for Supreme Court. Of course, the Republicans, having put the national interests first and foremost, don't even want to hear about Garland. Enough with Obama's partisan nominations!
I guess Clinton will have no choice but to nominate a left-leaning candidate for Supreme Court.


Too bad my straight_face tags are not supported by Tomi's blog platform.


Superdelegates can change their support at the convention, so Hillary's numbers are not being accurately reported by the media. There are two petitions out there for the DNC to pick the popular vote.

Setting the superdelegates aside for a moment, Bernie is only 314 delegates behind and will most certainly close the gap during the run up to the convention.

It's not over yet.


Only 314 delegates? Wow, piece of cake considering that there are not many states left and New York is coming. What if Hillary gets more elected delegates than Bernie? Would you then promise to vote for her?


Obama just endorsed Clinton. Gama over. It's time for Sanders to also endorse Clinton.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Overlord, Winter and cornelius

Overlord - actually I have been predicting slight climbs in Trump's ceiling and maintained all along that if the race was down to two, it would be about 40% who would be for Trump but he might be some points above that. And up to the last debate, Trump had only averaged 35% in the first 20 contests. And I said that as the rivals stopped attacking Trump, his support would rise to that approx 40% level. Go re-read the debate review. Now he hit 40.5% on March 15. What did I just now write, he will go slightly above that in remaining races to something near 45%. That is pretty solid ceiling and no front-runner candidate has had so low support within his (or her) party as Trump has, at this point in the race. He is disliked by half of his OWN party (compared with over 80% who like Hillary on the Democratic party side). So while yes, originally I felt Trump's ceiling was lower, I have been willing to raise it somewhat. I did that based on the numbers. I said it had stalled in the 35% range where it stood for four months. And now when the pressure was removed from Trump, I said it will climb a little bit more. But a clear ceiling does exist and its the lowest ceiling of any front-runner candidate that ever was, meaning - of Republican party supporters, Trump will do worst of any candidate in the modern era. So his logic is then - he will attract non-traditional voters, the 'silent majority' which is a myth - but he has yes, attracted the Nazis and haters on the fringe who say openly that Trump is the first Republican they can support - David Duke just now said that Trump's comparisons help improve Hitler's image. Obviously a good civic-minded passion of David Duke's - to help improve Hitler's overly tarnished image. The nutty edge doesn't have the numbers. And in the middle Trump hopes to steal white low-income workers from Democrats, aka 'Reagan Democrats' but now the problem is, that the rival is not an elitist black law professor who is running for the Democrats, its someone seen as a fighter for the middle class and close friend of labor, Hillary Clinton. Yes, there will be defections from the Independents in the middle to Trump, but Hillary is particularly well positioned to hold most of those at bay. Meanwhile Trump is riling up huge anger vote against him by often lazy voters like Hispanics and the youth. Then there is a big wave building of women voters and Hillary is doing a good job of maintaining the black vote. Trump's election loss will be epic. But if you want to continue to believe in magical numbers and Trump bedtime stories, Overlord, feel free :-)

Now on Rubio pick - Rubio is now saying loudly he won't be anybody's VP (I think that can be honestly true what he feels now, and that inspite of it, he could still change his mind by July). But like I said, if Trump can make his pick, ie if Trump gets to 1,237 delegates, he won't pick Rubio or Kasich or Cruz. He has someone else in mind. But if Trump doesn't get to 1,237 delegates - then Trump HAS to do a deal with one of his rivals or he won't win the nomination. He can't technically get to the number if he doesn't bring 1,237 pledged delegates to the first vote. He HAS to make the deal and Rubio is the obvious easiest deal to make, because most likely Trump is only about 100 delegates short and Rubio's 172 delegates is enough to get Trump to his goal. But as I wrote, Kasich or Cruz are also possible depending on the exact numbers. Of the three, Trump would most prefer Kasich but he's also the least likely to agree to a deal with Trump because Kasich is certain to get at least the VP slot with Cruz as well.

Winter - thanks for continuing to bring links to great and relevant articles. The one about Trump threatening violence is again eerily echoing Hitler. Its not that Trump is exactly like Hitler, its more like Trump is the modern 'American bully' version of a 'capitalist' Hitler haha. But he is acting, as if he'd studied Hitler VERY closely, and picking pieces of Hitler's playbook and trialing them on how they might play with Americans. And again - a fascist, nationalist, authoritarian, xenophobic, militaristic message does work to a significant part of the Republican voter base. Now where is the politician who comes with the appeal to 'better angels' kind of positive upbeat message and preaches inclusion and partnership and compromise. That message will not find an audience in 2016 but after historic loss by Trump's divisive hateful campaign, the opening is for a 'Republican Bill Clinton' to come, who says, lets stop the divisions, lets act like grown-ups and lets reach across the aisle. Look at how partisan President Hillary Clinton is, lets we Republicans now be the populist party and be the party of sensible government... Some young Republican in a purple state in local government or maybe a member of the House is now working on that approach. Its time may come in 2020 (more like that is the second year of crash-and-burn with Ted Cruz getting his chance and falling to even worse results than Trump now) but whoever starts that song in 2020, that is likely the front-runner for 2024...

Note in 2024 that 'Republican' candidate will be for sensible gun control; for clear abortion rights for women, no limits (and being for Planned Parenthood); for clean water and air ie for the EPA; for reasonable minimum wage; for raising taxes especially on the rich; for a reasonable military budget ie reasonable cuts to it; for gay rights; will be fully supportive of the evolution of Obamacare-Hillarycare nationalized healthcare. But that person will be for liberties and limited government and more state control vs Washington DC centralized control. What is now essentially an extinct animal, the moderate Republican. That candidate will emerge but probably can't win the nomination until 2024 because probably after Trump, the Ted Cruz experiment has to be run as well, by Republicans to make sure they can't win by nominating a true conservative extremist nut.

Oh, and as I've predicted, Hillary's two terms will be full of scandals large and small, so probably the 'New Republican' will be someone 'pure' and 'honest' the exact opposite of Trump, possibly very religious personally but not judgemental, so someone in the line of say Jimmy Carter in terms of his 'honesty' and 'trustworthiness' but one who won't then push his religious beliefs on others like say Huckabee or Santorum or Cruz.

cornelius - on Garland for SCOTUS, its an interesting play, in that it seems like Obama is taking the bait by Republicans, that ok, they won't approve him now, but if Hillary does win the election, then in the lame duck session in November, the outgoing Republican-led Senate will approve this moderate judge rather than let Hillary pick a more liberal one instead. And some of the analysis and opinion seems to be that Obama would be ok with that, because Obama really likes this guy and thinks he'd make a good judge. And once again, it would mean, that in his desperate attempt to pursue moderation, Obama is played again by the extremists and denial wing of Republicans. What I would love to see happen, is that the polls leading to November suggest a total blow-out landslide, and Obama pulls the Garland nomination, and in her first week, Hillary then nominates Obama.. Shell-shocked after a total landslide wipeout losing the Senate (and House) and right as she enjoys her highest approval numbers after passing a few quick popular and populist executive orders and starting to sign first popular and populist laws, that would be the time to push Obama through to the bench haha. So if you wanted to obstruct this President.. Obama.. then now you're stuck with HIM obstructing you for the next 30 years on a lifetime appointment.. Take that... haha. If the gods of politics had a sense of justice, that would be poetic justice. And also - that Obama would get into the press often as the swing judge who then voted AGAINST Hillary for her over-reaches as POTUS..

Obama is a moderate Democrat, close to a centrist, more moderate than Bill Clinton and far more moderate than Hillary. This judge, Garland, by what I've read, seems like a very 'normal' not radical moderate judge but one who sides on the populist positions on most matters, so he would not try to bring in a Bernie Sandersian Socialist utopia to the nation but he'd still be a liberal judge. I would think as part of the legacy of Obama, that would be a healthy thing. And if I was a Republican, looking at 8 years of Hillary Clinton, then Garland's old age would be a big blessing, once the Hillary term is done, from 2024, the next Republican president (that year or 2028) could possibly be replacing Garland, with a conservative judge. This is a pretty clever chess game move by Obama and I would not be surprised if he won't get to be nominated. Obama and the Democrats could pressure the Republican Senators to actually give Garland the vote before the election, some time during the summer if the Republican brand is badly damaged by the ongoing Trumporama.

Now one other angle. I would not be surprised, if Obama withdraws Garland in the summer, and swaps in a clearly politically-motivated far more liberal judge instead. But one who is of a convenient racial minority group, a black woman for example. And then as Obama joins Hillary on the trail, he can use that nominee as a political tool and now, the Republican party has to nominate the young clearly more liberal judge - in the lame duck session - rather than wait in horror of who it is, that Hillary would nominate when she wins the election and brings in a Senate controlled by the Democrats... And then the rumor would be wild that Hillary will nominate Obama - so the Republicans HAVE to accept Obama's liberal alternative now, rather than take Obama himself on a lifetime appointment haha.. I do think there is a chess game going and Obama has thought this VERY deeply through - and has discussed it with Hillary several times as well, so this is in line with her ambitions too.

But wouldn't it make Mitch McConnell look utterly inept, if Obama swaps out Garland in July, nominates a very liberal, Hispanic young lady judge who is a firebrand about abortion, gay rights, gun rights etc - and then Mitch has to accept that nominee - because the alternative will be Obama himself in February haha... Gotta see how this plays out. But its an interesting angle and when you think rationally about it, the Republican controlled Senate cannot possibly deny the sitting President the nomination of a Supreme Court judge for a year. And of anyone Obama could have nominated, Garland is the least undesirable to the Republicans. They are certain to lose Senate seats this year. Why not take Garland now. Whatever is the alternative from Hillary (or from Obama in the Autumn) will be worse. Are they really going to be this blatantly obviously political to cause their own side such damage now.. Supreme Court justices die. This was the time that the balance was going to switch. They have had a good run of conservative balance in the court. That change cannot be stopped. Take the moderate judge now, rather than a more liberal judge (and younger judge) later. The Republican leadership - especially McConnell - is truly obsessed with Obama-hatred and Obama-blindness.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi deadonthefloor and cornelius

deadonthefloor - Superdelegates are part of the rules. Both parties have quite different philosophies as fits their brand. Republicans are for brutal capitalistic may the strongest not only win but crush the rivals - hence they like the winner-take-all thinking. Democrats are the 'let everybody have a chance' so they have no winner-take-all but the proportional votes means, once the front-runner gets ahead by a meaningful amount, to overtake the front-runner becomes essentially impossible. Hillary's lead now is far larger than what Obama had in 2008. Bernie cannot catch her. But also, like the parties are different, the Democrats have had their nutty candidates and their answer to that conundrum is the Superdelegate. Their number was modest when originally conceived, and have nearly doubled in number over the past three decades. I guarantee you, this year's Trumporama will cause the Republicans to change their nomination rules dramatically - and many will say that (a modest number of) Superdelegates like the DEMs have, is the answer to prevent another Trump. Look at ALL the obvious Superdelegates if the GOP had them like DEMs do - from John McCain to Mitt Romney they'd all be against Trump and if you take 10% of the party's total delegates away - 5% of that would be from Trump now - then Trump would be down to 43% of the delegates and his path to the nomination would be essentially blocked.

Now you say Superdelegates can change their minds - and so they can and indeed, in 2008 some did, switching from Hillary to Obama. This year they won't. Why? Because Bernie can't win the nomination. They KNOW their nominee is going to be Hillary, its been obvious for months, now even Obama is saying in private that the party has to join around Hillary. The race is over. Only a suicidal fool party elder would now jump from the winning Hillary ship to the sinking Bernie boat. Hillary will be in the position to dole out incredible amount of positions of power - with her pals Nancy Pelosi in the House and incoming Senate leader Chuck Schumer. You don't want to now go against her (if you want a career in the Democratic party, that is). No, deadonthefloor, instead of any stream of Superdelegates away from Hillary, you'll see the last sheep joining the flock like Elizabeth Warren. Her lead in the Superdelegate race will also only increase, not decrease. And they have exactly the same votes as regular delegates, so of course you have to count their numbers in the race. These Superdelegates have declared their support of Hillary (and some have declared for Bernie). They have to be counted. They will matter on the exact date of when Hillary clinches. They will not be changing their minds against Hillary, not this far how this race has gone and how foregone is its conclusion. If you want to hold onto hopes that somehow the Democratic party abandons the Superdelegate rules - when they see what disaster Trump does on the other side - feel free to believe that. It won't happen. This blog deals with reality, not fantasy.

cornelius - agree with you response to deadonthefloor and thanks about the Obama news. It is as of now, only a private endorsement, but obviously Obama has been itching to signal his preference in this race. And as Obama has met several times with Hillary, they are no doubt plotting their transition of power - including what will be the role for Michelle, and also that exact way of how the Supreme Court nomination is played. The Obamas have already said they are not moving back to Chicago in 2017 they will stay in DC because they don't want Sasha to have to change schools at this stage in her high school. Would then be a convenient time to have Obama take a few years off, write another memoir, then be available for the next nomination to the Supreme Court. And meanwhile, mom Michelle, could perhaps take a cabinet post with Hillary or some advisor role to raise her profile. What if Washington DC becomes a state, Michelle could run to be its first Governor, probably win by easy landslide. Then by 2024 Michelle could run for President herself.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"The Republican leadership - especially McConnell - is truly obsessed with Obama-hatred and Obama-blindness."

I do not think this is the Republican leadership being blinded by hatred. This is the Tea party forcing their hand. I think the Republicans are well aware of this chess game, but they are trapped and their hands are forced.

You only have to read Catriona's comments to see how deeply the wacky side of the GOP depends on reactionary judges to preserve their power. Both for protecting their voter disenfranchisement as their opposition to abortion, gun control, and gay rights. Any attempt by the GOP leadership to accept a moderate would lead to a revolt of the Tea party crowd, and more Trumpzilla followers.

I think Obama&Hillary know very well how to play that divide and conquer game. By nominating a moderate liked by centrists, they play for the moderate votes. At the same time, they force the GOP leadership to alienate the moderates by refusing to even discuss the matter.


On Obama as a SCOTUS member:

Could Obama be the next Supreme Court justice? Hillary Clinton is intrigued.

""Wow, what a great idea!" she told a man in Decorah, Iowa, at a town hall meeting. "Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow. I love that!""

"It's also worth noting that Obama has already thrown cold water on the idea."

I have some doubts whether the idea was really that new to her. I also have doubts whether Obama will really reject such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


And here is the Washington post with the same SCOTUS game as Tomi presented (minus Obama for SCOTUS):

How Obama could get last laugh in Supreme Court fight


And more on the fracturing of the GOP

GOP declares war on voters


And more analysis on the SCOTUS gamble

How Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Complicate GOP Opposition to Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

"Stonewalling Mr. Obama’s nominee has the potential to damage a number of vulnerable GOP incumbent senators, so holding the line against Judge Garland could cost Republicans the Senate as well. That may have been a gamble worth taking when the possibility of a Republican alternative to Mr. Trump could gain the presidency. But Mr. McConnell must now consider whether the risk of losing the Senate is a worthwhile one given the virtual certainty that a President Hillary Clinton would almost certainly nominate a younger and less moderate justice than Mr. Garland."


Even if Rubio said that he won't accept a VP role, I think he will be smart enough to accept it. Otherwise his political career is kind of over. He will not be elected senator in Florida ever again. But as a VP he has a chance to stay in politics long enough to rebuild his image, and who knows, maybe even run again for president. He's young so he has time on his side. But I am not sure if Trump will ask him to be his VP considering Rubio's dirty attacks on Trump during his campaign.


"Even if Rubio said that he won't accept a VP role, I think he will be smart enough to accept it."

It depends. If the situation goes downhill and there is violence or the threat of violence at the convention, Trump might become too toxic. Then it could become political suicide to associate with him.

But you are tight. Rubio's options have become limited.

Millard Filmore

Hi all, a little more information on the Hillary server scandal. It also touches on the old cell phone wars.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

The next domino falls... I said I was eager to see the Congressional and Senate race predictions, expecting strong movement in Democratic direction because of the mad policies of the Republicans in the past years and now the nutty extremist candidates. So the Cook Report has just done its first analysis of the 2016 Congressional race. They find 10 contests that should be leaning Republican, now in play, because of Trump or Cruz on top of the ticket. They conclude that already now (March) the House is in play. Now.. who told you so? So many here on this blog said the House is safe because of the heavy gerrymandering. I said not this year..

Separately, I am hoping soon we'll get RCP's polling numbers for the Senate but they have put up the senate individual polls as a page, and look at those.. Essentially all that were recently polled feature either slight leads by the Democrat challenger to contested Republican, or the GOP Senator with only a razor-thin typically one POINT advantage. Sitting GOP Senator 8 months out should be MILES ahead but yeah, the Senate will be a bloodbath (and now the Supreme Court gamesmanship is making it only worse for the sitting Republican Senators. Like Elizabeth Warren said 'Do your job!')

Then several things will happen, to create the perfect storm or a virtuous (or vicious) cycle. Hillary will be seen as highly popular candidate in those contested races, Senate, House, Governor etc. And so she'll be warmly welcomed and hugged by the Democrats. Meanwhile Trump will be feared and most competitive Republicans will not be in town when Trump holds one of his rallies. Then the rising popularity of Obama - he too will be now far more welcome in competitive Democratic districts than he was in 2012 - but there is no Republican past President who would be welcome anywhere except totally red districts, just maybe, but I can't see W Bush even bothering to show up to support Trump haha. Now, consider next the MONEY. Many political donations come from organizations, companies and rich people to both sides (like Trump in the past) but likely with a bias, some like one party, others like the other, but often give to both. Now... Trump and the Republicans are gonna lose badly anyway - plus Trump is hated and feared - so they won't give to Trump nor to the Republican candidates. But Hillary is gonna win anyway and so will the Democratic Senators, Members of House, Governors, Mayors, local government etc - so they will get a SURPLUS of money from all those who might support both sides. Then those who only support Republicans - many will say this year is a lost cause and not give anything. But the Democrats - with the Hillary machine, the Obama machine and at least partly the Bernie machine too - will be totally utterly awash with money. And be able to support the down-ticket races very strongly.

The Democratic candidates will be on the popular populist positions that Hillary has taken, and will have a happy united convention where their message is loudly celebrated, plus contrasted with Trump and gang. Meanwhile the Republican convention will be at least grumbling with discontent, and can even be contested and violent. Many Republicans will openly be against their party platform which Trump will insist upon. So when voters are presented with INCUMBENT Republicans representing Trump's views (or running away from him) and the party platform, and then challenger Democratic new faces promise the sensible populist views of no more gridlock and actual intelligent government... again, it helps the virtuous cycle to boost Democrats, boost Hillary, boost the Senators and House members, boost local government, get more volunteers, get more campaign donations and build a big wave.. As various polls show the Republicans in trouble, some will try to convert or admit they made mistakes or quit running instead of losing - all this helping even more the Democratic cause and bringing ever more splits into the Republican side.

Now one last thought - it seems many in the Republican party now are surrendering to Trump and thinking they should salvage what can be saved and stop fighting against the inevitable.. I would find it bizarre if the Republican party really surrenders to Trump and just lets him take over their party and destroy it. But lets see how that goes, because apparently this last get-together they just had yesterday had participants very despondent and many considering ending the anti-Trump ad campaigns etc (according to Politico). If the anti-Trump resistance ends (or strongly diminishes) then of course Cruz and Kasich will also do far worse in the last months than anyone thought. And again, Trump could clinch his nomination (on June 7). Part of me, out of curiosity, would love to see 'the full Trump' plan, ie have him clinch and then we'd see his VP choice and see how he intends to pivot for the general election kind of 'fully' at the convention etc. Incidentially - as Trump said on Morning Joe - his foreign policy advisor is HIMSELF and he TALKS TO HIMSELF if thats not disqualifying for the man with the finger on the button, I don't know what is. But yeah. I am not so sure there IS a master plan beyond July. He might actually end up picking Chris Christie as his VP haha and that there is no super-smart pivot. That the thug Lewandovski really is the level of his campaign smarts.

Obviously the BIGGER part of me, as an observer REALLY hopes for a contested convention where the first vote won't bring a decision, and we'll see hopefully a day of wild votes and weird moves to try to find a nominee. As we've never lived to see one (most of us too young that is) that would be cool. Far more so, now in the age of 24 hour cable news and Twitter. But then if its Trump, he'll be partnering with Rubio or Kasich as VP and we'll probably never find out who was his mystery 'awesome' VP idea. And a party platform in a contested convention would also be far more a last-minute-compromise than the pure Trumpian 'grand idea' for how to win in the general election (if one exists).

Still.. its the best show on the planet. BTW did you see the dueling Trump ads. The one with Hillary barking like a dog, then Hillary's response has Trump talking to himself.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Oh.. there's more!

Another of my forecasts. I don't think anyone else has written about this angle yet but today Slate has the story that they think a loss by Trump in 2016 will lead to.. a loss by Ted Cruz in 2020. They think that the Republican party is destined to follow the disaster of Trump as nominee now, with yes, Cruz in 2020 (like I have been predicting for months here). And they make a funny analogy. When Lindsay Graham said the choice between Trump and Cruz was whether you wanted to be shot or poisoned - now Slate says, the Republican party will not need to decide - they will get to experience both... And like my analysis has said before many times, only after the madness of the extremist right wing dogma has passed can the Republican party return to winning elections. Earliest the Slate article sees it - like I see it - in 2024. Nice to see yet another of my early visions now starting to find others who also see it that way. I do think that was the first published story to cover that angle. (I'm actually pretty good at this political forecasting racket too, apparently hahah).

Tomi Ahonen :-)


It is still more than half a year until the elections. So a lot can happen. It looks like the GOP is heading to a complete meltdown.

My concern is how this meltdown and the associated desperation and anger will spill over. Desperate people could execute desperate actions. Congress cannot start a war to divert attention, but there might be other avenues to derail the elections.

Then there is the buildup of a Trump militia that might form a new KKK organisation. Wasn't there involvement of police forces with Trump gatherings? In Europe, these right wing militia have always attracted some corners of the police and armed forces. And voter intimidation must still be a living memory in many parts of the US.

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