Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Political Strategy Offered to Defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016

By Paul R. Hollrah

To be elected president or vice president of the United States requires a total of at least 270 votes in the Electoral College. Through the strategic spending of other people’s money, especially among minority populations in our major urban areas, Democrats have fashioned an electoral map that gives them a relatively firm base of 22 blue states with a combined total of 257 of the needed 270 electoral votes. Of the remaining 281 electoral votes, they only have to pick up 13 in order to elect a president and a vice president.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a firm base of 23 red states with a combined total of 191 electoral votes, leaving a total of six swing states… Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia… with a combined total of 90 electoral votes. In order for a Republican to win in 2016 and beyond, he/she must carry all 23 of the red states, plus at least five of the six swing states. They could afford to lose either Colorado’s nine electoral votes or Iowa’s six electoral votes, but not all 15. To lose both Colorado and Iowa, while carrying Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, would leave them with a total of just 266 electoral votes, four short of an electoral majority. It appears to be a nearly-insurmountable obstacle for Republicans, but is it?

With a bit of foresight and strategic planning, Republicans could do a great deal between now and November 2016 to mitigate the Democrats’ electoral advantage. In a December 2012 column, Real Electoral College Reform, I analyzed what would happen to the political balance of power in the United States if all 50 states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska method for allocating electoral votes.

In the Electoral College, each of the 50 states are allotted two at-large electoral votes, one for each of their two U.S. senators, and one vote for each of the state’s congressional districts. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in each state takes all of the state’s electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska, however, the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote is allotted that state’s two at-large electoral votes, while the remainder of the electoral votes are allocated based on the winner of the popular vote within each of the state’s congressional districts.

If the Maine-Nebraska formula had been in effect in all 50 states in 2012, and assuming that the vote for the presidential candidates of each party would roughly approximate the votes for the congressional candidates of the respective parties in each congressional district, Obama would have lost 115 of his 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney in the 26 states, plus D.C., in which he won a majority of the popular vote. On the other hand, in the 24 red states carried by Romney-Ryan, they would have lost only 39 electoral votes to Obama-Biden.

The end result?  In 2012, instead of a 332 to 206 vote victory for Obama-Biden in the Electoral College, the Maine-Nebraska system would have produced a comfortable 282 to 256 vote victory for Romney-Ryan, an outcome that would have been far closer to expressing the will of the people than the present winner-take-all system.

To understand this phenomenon, one need only look at the county-by-county electoral map of the United States with the counties colored either red or blue. It is reflective of: a) the preference for Republican principles among a substantial majority of the people, and b) the overwhelming size of the vote for the Democratic “sugar daddy” in the inner city precincts. The electoral process is disproportionately skewed by the fact that, in the heavily-populated inner-city precincts, the vote is nearly always 95 percent to 110 percent for Democratic candidates, while in the suburbs and the rural areas the vote is nearly always within the 60-40 range, one party over the other.

If it is true that “all politics is local,” as the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill once remarked, then to replace the current winner-take-all system with the Maine-Nebraska electoral system would help to bring political decision-making much closer to the people because of the increased interest generated in local and congressional elections.

The Maine-Nebraska electoral system would deemphasize the key battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia and require candidates to campaign in all fifty states. As matters now stand, presidential candidates spend little time in states such as California, New York, Oklahoma and Texas because the outcome of presidential voting in those states is almost always a foregone conclusion. Had the Maine-Nebraska system been in place for the 2012 General Election, Obama would have found it necessary to defend the 15 votes that Romney could have won in California and the six votes he could have won in New York, while Romney could not have ignored the 12 electoral votes that Obama might have captured in Texas.

Liberals and Democrats are notorious for expressing appreciation for whatever they see as being most “democratic.” But is there a chance that Democrats in the bluest of blue states… such as California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon… would agree to such a reform once they figured out that the Maine-Nebraska system would cause them to lose a significant number of electoral votes to Republicans, and that the Maine-Nebraska system would all but guarantee that no Democrat could be elected president or vice president for many years to come? Among liberals and Democrats, when it come to a choice between what is best for the country and what is best for their party, the country will always come out on the “short end of the stick.”

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

So, while we cannot expect to ever see an electoral system in which all 50 states utilize the Maine-Nebraska formula, is there something that can be done now to level the playing field a bit? The answer is yes, and it can easily be accomplished in advance of the 2016 General Election. Here’s what must be done:

At the present time, there are 11 states with a total of 139 electoral votes that were carried by Barack Obama in 2012 which now have Republican governors. Of those 11 states, the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin now enjoy Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures. What this means is that, if the governors and legislative leaders in those five states understood what could be accomplished, they would take immediate steps to repeal the winner-take-all electoral system and adopt the Maine-Nebraska system. With Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures, Democrats would be powerless to stop them.

Even if Democrats should win the popular vote in each of those five states in 2016, as they did in 2012, the Maine-Nebraska formula would create a much different scenario than the winner-take-all system:  Instead of winning all 29 of Florida’s electoral votes, Democrats would win 12 and Republicans would win 17; instead of winning all 16 of Michigan’s electoral votes, Democrats would win seven votes and Republicans would win nine; instead of winning all six of Nevada’s electoral votes, Democrats would win three and Republicans would win three; instead of winning all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes, Democrats would win six and Republicans would win 12; and instead of winning all 10 of Wisconsin’s electoral votes, Democrats would win five and Republicans would win five.

Applying these totals to the expected blue state and red state totals, the Democrats’ expected advantage would increase from 257 electoral votes to 258, while the Republican disadvantage would move from 191 electoral votes to 237. As matters now stand, Democrats have to take only 13 (14 percent) of the 90 swing state votes while Republicans have to take 79 (8 percent) in order to win the presidency. On the other hand, if Republicans in those five states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska system in the current legislative sessions, Democrats would have to take 12 (28 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes to win, while Republicans would have to take 33 (76 percent) of the remaining 43. Taking 76 percent of 43 votes is easier than taking 88 percent of 90 votes.

But what if many of the low-information Obama voters in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin decide to stay home in November 2016, giving Republicans popular vote victories in all five states? After eight years of disastrous Obama-Biden-Clinton-style governance, it is a distinct possibility. Under that scenario, Republicans could put another 10 electoral votes in their column.  Democrats would have 248 electoral votes and Republicans 247 electoral votes before the 43 electoral votes of Colorado (9), Iowa (6), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13) were won or lost. Democrats would have to win 22 (51 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes, while Republicans would have to win 23 (53 percent). The playing field would be substantially leveled.

However, in order to greatly increase their chances of victory, Republicans should not hesitate to target Minnesota, with 10 electoral votes; New Hampshire, with four electoral votes; New Mexico, with five electoral votes; and Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes… all winner-take-all states, and all states that Obama carried with less than 53 percent of the vote in 2012. After eight years of Obama-Biden, at least five percent of the good people in those four states should be anxious for a change.

In the meantime, those readers who live in the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan might wish to place copies of this analysis into the hands of their governors and their legislative leaders. With seven states utilizing the Maine-Nebraska system we may witness the  beginning of a trend as other blue states follow suit. The question is, do Republican leaders in Washington and in the state capitals have the political sense to recognize the advantage they enjoy? Given their past history, we know that they= are not always quick to act when political advantage falls into their laps.  t may be necessary to lean on them a bit.

Paul R. Hollrah is a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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Will Joe Biden Select ‘Indian’ Warren As Running Mate?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

Biden-Warren

Will Joe Biden run, or will he not?  That is the question.

If I had to venture a guess I’d say that, before year’s end, Hillary Clinton will be either sitting on the bench or exchanging her large selection of polyester pantsuits for a selection of orange or black-and-white striped jumpsuits.  Her campaign is in steep decline, and when the talking heads on the major networks, CNN, and MSNBC begin to devote major segments to the question of her political future, the end cannot be far away.  But who do the Democrats have to replace her?  Unlike Republicans, the Democrats have little or no “bench” strength.  Bernie Sanders, the doddering old socialist from Vermont is drawing large crowds, but we can’t be sure if people come to hear his plan for turning the U.S. economy into another Greek economy, or if they come to see whether or not the “Black Lives Matter” storm troopers will once again drive him from the speaker’s platform.

On Aug. 22, Elizabeth Warren, the freshman Democrat senator from Massachusetts, was summoned to Biden’s official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington.  And while their meeting was not videotaped for public consumption, there’s not much doubt about the subject matter of their chat.  They discussed the very real possibility that Hillary will soon be forced out of the race, perhaps with criminal indictments lodged against her.

So exactly who is Elizabeth Warren and what has she ever done, if anything, to make her a viable candidate for president or vice president of the United States?  Warren has roughly the same presidential qualifications as Barack Obama, who was roughly as qualified as, say, Rosie O’Donnell.  Yet they are the sort of candidates most liberals prefer because they’re full of you-know-what.  In other words, like Obama, she has no presidential qualifications whatsoever.  And wouldn’t it be fun to see Warren, who has spent her entire adult life lecturing about personal and corporate bankruptcy, debate Donald Trump, who is not only skilled at using the bankruptcy statutes to his benefit, but who has become a multi-billionaire trying not to go bankrupt?

Warren graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1978, and has since taught at a number of major law schools, including Houston, Texas, Michigan, Penn and Harvard.  During that academic career, she gained fame as a leading authority on the subject of bankruptcy law.

Warren freely admits that for most of her adult life she was a Republican.  However, she has also explained that she became a Democrat in 1995 when she stopped believing in a free market economy… i.e., capitalism.  In fact, it is she who has taught Barack Obama to say that, if you’ve achieved some financial success in your life, or if you’ve built a large and profitable business, “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”

In 2012, after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reported that Prof. Warren had described herself on Harvard job applications as being part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian.  In the debate that followed it could not be proved that she had any Indian blood whatsoever in her lineage.  Instead, she supported her claim by saying that, as a young woman, she could remember her older brothers speak of their Native American heritage.  And since it looked good on a Harvard job application she simply ran with it.

Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012, defeating Sen. Scott Brown and regaining the Kennedy seat in the U.S. Senate.  However, the fact that she was the first female senator from Massachusetts was rarely mentioned by Warren or other Democrats… presumably because they did not wish to call attention to the fact that the first black man elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts was Republican Ed Brooke, elected in 1966, some 46 years earlier.

And that brings us to vice president Joe Biden.  The current vice president of the United States grew up in Scranton, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., where his father worked as a used car salesman, providing a practical grounding for Biden’s later political career.  He met his first wife while he was a student at the University of Delaware and she a student at Syracuse University.  Even at that early stage of their relationship he told her that his long term goal was to become a member of the United States Senate by age 30, before running for president of the United States.  During his college career he majored in history and political science, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965, ranking 506th in a graduating class of 688… not necessarily the greatest predictor of long term success at the top of the political world.

After earning a law degree in 1969 Biden was elected to the Newcastle County (Del.) Council, and just two years later he ran successfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  However, on Dec. 18, 1972, just days before he was to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, he suffered the first of two major family tragedies in his life.  His wife and three children were involved in an auto accident while Christmas shopping in a small town west of Wilmington.  His wife and year-old daughter were killed and his two sons were seriously injured, but both recovered fully.

During his Senate career, which spanned six full terms, he was a member and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he gained a well-deserved reputation for being wrong on almost every significant foreign policy issue.  He was also a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serving as chairman of the committee for eight years and ranking minority member for eight years.  He served as chairman in 1987 when Senate Democrats conducted the shameless public “drawing and quartering” of conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, and as ranking minority member in 1982, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, a partisan sideshow that Justice Thomas referred to as a “high-tech lynching.”

In 1987, Biden launched the first of two campaigns for the presidency.  However, in September 1987 he was publicly denounced for having plagiarized several lines from a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labour Party.  His dishonesty quickly became a national issue, and he was forced to abandon his presidential ambitions.

But then, beginning in 2003, Democrats began to take notice of a young man they thought might be a future Democratic presidential candidate, an attractive young black man from the south side of Chicago, a former “community organizer” and a sitting member of the Illinois state senate, a man named Barack Hussein Obama.  The only problem was that, having been born with dual US-British citizenship, and having acquired dual U.S.-Kenyan citizenship at age 2, Obama was ineligible to serve as president of the United States.

To solve that problem, Democrats introduced two resolutions in the 108th Congress in 2003, and two resolutions in the 109th Congress in 2005, all aimed at amending the U.S. Constitution to make Obama eligible for the presidency.  They even went so far as to pluck him from almost total political obscurity and gave him the plum assignment of making the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.  It was the political launching pad that sent Obama to the United States Senate in 2005 and to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

But Democratic leaders were still concerned about Obama’s lack of eligibility and his complete lack of experience.  In an attempt to submerge the issue of his ineligibility, Democratic leaders caused then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, chairman of the 2008 Democrat National Convention, and Alice Travis Germond, convention secretary, to delete the words, “… and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution,” from official nominating certifications sent to 49 of the 50 states, certifications that allowed state election officials to print ballots.

Although one would think that either the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic members of the U.S. Electoral College, or at least one member of the U.S. Congress, Democrat or Republican, would care enough about the Constitution to question Obama’s eligibility, that was not the case.  All failed in their constitutional obligations and in November 2008, the low-information voters of the United States caused Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be elected president and vice president of the United States, respectively.

But there was a reason Biden was selected as Obama’s running mate.  Democrats knew from the outset that, not only was Obama totally without experience and qualifications, he was hopelessly naïve and was unable to utter a simple declaratory sentence without having a teleprompter telling him what to say.  To resolve that problem they caused Biden to be selected as Obama’s running mate.  With Biden occupying the vice president’s chair, he would be in a position to whisper in Obama’s ear, hopefully preventing him from making any really stupid mistakes.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way things worked out.  Within five minutes of entering the Oval Office, Obama made it quite clear to Biden and everyone else that he didn’t need anyone’s advice.  What we have witnessed since that day is much like a high school student who won a Kiwanis Club “President for a Day” contest and who arrived at the White House with no one but his high school social studies teacher (in Obama’s case, Valerie Jarrett) as his principal advisor.

On May 30, Biden suffered the second major personal family tragedy of his life.  His son, 46-year-old “Beau” Biden, a former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer.  It is reported that the younger Biden’s deathbed wish was that his father seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

With the impending demise of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, there is every reason to believe that Biden will enter the race.  But there is also every reason to believe that, if he does, Democrats across the country will use Beau Biden’s death, shamelessly, as a sympathy factor to help gain support for his campaign.  They used that tactic in 1964 to help LBJ win in the wake of JFK’s death, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t use the same classless tactic again in 2016.

SEE ALSO: This 2006 video revealing how then-presidential candidate Biden feels about another group of Indians and this post about how he missed an opportunity for another ‘Big F—in Deal’.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

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