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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: New Republic: Why Hogan is more vulnerable than his popularity suggests on: July 21, 2017, 09:22:12 am
Hogan is certainly vulnerable, as would any GOP Governor in a blue state be. However, he's the favorite until further notice. So far the Dems haven't presented a candidate that I think can beat Hogan. He's still very popular in most of the state's suburbs due to his fiscal views. I think it really comes down to this: Can the Democratic nominee fire up the base, while still winning over enough suburbanite moderates?
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why does Bernie appeal to conservatives? on: July 05, 2017, 09:44:19 am
There's an element of "conservatism" (in the old-school sense) in Bernie. At his core, a lot of his message is about rule following and fairness in relation to the economy. Now a lot of conservatives are more focused on anti-government policies, but I've come across many in my day-to-day life who associate with the GOP more because they see it as the party of structure and order. Bernie appeals to that, as his policies are pretty heavily focused on making big business and the wealthy "Play by the rules" so-to-speak.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Camelot Anew on: May 31, 2017, 01:33:02 pm
Great take on a frequently discussed (and oft-attempted) topic!
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2018 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: MD - Washington Post/UMD: Hogan 41 - Democrat Nominee 37 on: March 27, 2017, 12:30:24 pm
From my view on the ground, Dems should be favored if they nominate a strong candidate (John Delaney and Ken Ullman both jump to mind). Hogan's struggled with Trump in the White House, whereas he did a good job positioning himself as a common-sense executive positioned in-between the likes of Pres. Obama and the more radical Congressional Republicans. That doesn't work when you're in the same party as the POTUS, and your base generally supports him and wants you to as well.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What are Hogan's chances to be re-elected? on: February 27, 2017, 01:28:16 pm
For the record, Delaney hasn't said that he's ruled out running.

He said in September of 2016 that he had "no plans" to run. But that was a world ago politically. Pre-POTUS Trump and pre-Perez winning the DNC Chair (which rules out his candidacy).

I fully expect that he will run and that he'll be the next Governor.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What are Hogan's chances to be re-elected? on: February 21, 2017, 01:37:09 pm

Explained above. Baltimore county is NOT as Democratic as city, and neighbouring suburbs are extremely conservative. Yes, Hogan needs to minimize losses in Democratic areas, but until recently (his comments on Trump immigration order) he successfully did exactly that. Now - not so sure, but he surely remains relatively popular and i wouldn't write him off right now. It seems most Democratic potential candidates are not eager to take on him as well....

Baltimore County is pretty much the bell-weather for the state. When it goes for the Dems (or splits evenly), the Dems win the state. Hogan got just about 60% of the vote there and he won there. It's also a bit of a microcosm for the state and country more broadly.

The Southeastern chunk of the County used to be reliably Democratic, albeit always pretty conservative. Prior to 2014, they had a Democratic State Senator, three Democratic State Reps, and a Democratic County Councilman. Now all those seats are held by Republicans and they gave over 60% of the vote to Trump. It's an area that used to be heavily industrial, with the world's biggest steel plant. Now that's closed and there aren't enough good paying jobs to go around. There's a lot of new investment, but it has yet to materialize yet.

Northeast and North: Reliably Republican, wealthy exurbs, and rural areas. This is your quintessential conservative base. Trump's strongest region, home of the GOP Senate nominee and the leadership in both the State House and Senate. Cruz did well here in the primaries.

Central: These are the towns of Towson, Parkville, and Pikesville. Towson and Pikesville are both generally Democratic regions, electing all Democrats to the General Assembly, but went for Hogan (narrowly) in 2014 due primarily to economic issues. These are generally well-educated, affluent voters who tend to elect representatives focused on social, environmental, and educational causes (For instance, the Senator from the Pikesville [center-northwest] area is chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.) Parkville is a bit more conservative and a bit less wealthy, but also has a large African-American population. Overall, the central, "inside-the-highway" area is the key area for any statewide Dem to win. Hillary and Van Hollen did easily, while Brown lost it and O'Malley ran even against Ehrlich both in 2006 and 2010.

Northwest: The Democratic base. Northwest Baltimore County, stretching from the City out to Carroll County, is predominately African-American, with a sizable Jewish population as well. The Republican Party doesn't contest this area at all, and the County Councilman here was a Bernie Sanders delegate at the DNC. This area is still predominately middle-class, but voted for Brown over Hogan by a wide margin. Turnout is the key here for the Dems.

Southwest: A hybrid of the central and Southeastern parts of the county in many ways. The far Southeast corner is Arbutus, home of former Governor Bob Ehrlich. It's more working class and comparable to Dundalk across the harbor. Conservative and Trump country. North of that that is Catonsville, a wealthier suburb that is much more liberal and diverse. This area is represented by Democrats at every level of government, but is basically a 55-45 split in terms of who voters support.

On the whole, Baltimore County is a generally left-of-center county but will swing right when the focus is on tax-and-spending issues. The white working class communities of the Southeast and Southwest went from reliably Democratic to reliably Republican, while the wealthier suburbs went from lean GOP to lean Dem over the last 20 years. There's a hotly contested County Executive race and some very close legislative races. 2018 will be a very exciting year in a county that has a lot in common with the country at-large.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What are Hogan's chances to be re-elected? on: February 21, 2017, 01:07:20 pm
It depends on a number of factors:

1-Trump's popularity. If he's as unpopular, or worse, in 2018 as he is today than that really hurts Hogan. Progressives will turnout in large numbers to vote against GOP candidates, and swing-voters will swing left.
2-The Democratic candidate: Right now there are three candidates who have effectively began their campaigns: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, and Congressman John Delaney. If Tom Perez loses the race for DNC Chair than I can see him also jumping into the race. Delaney is a very strong candidate IMO as he's been vocally anti-Hogan while still retaining enough of an independent record on economic issues to carry the suburban voters in Howard and Baltimore County, while fairing better in Western MD (which he represents) than any other nominee. I think Kamenetz is the weakest of the three for a number of reasons I won't go into here, but he's not especially popular even among Baltimore County Democrats (all three of his likely successors have been critical of him) and that alone is concerning. Baker seems promising, but I don't know enough about him.
3-The Democratic Party: This is a sequel to the previous point. The state party has spent the last two years rebuilding since the embarrassing loss in 2014. There's still a lot of work to be done, particularly in the swing-burbs (BalCo, HoCo, AAC, Frederick, etc.). Kathleen Matthews is running for State Chair and looks like the front-runner. How she helps shape the party (i.e. whether they focus on winning over swing voters or double-down on the O'Malley-Brown strategy) will have a big impact on how the eventual nominee in 2018 is seen.
4-Hogan's Strategy Over The Next Two Years: Larry Hogan effectively paved a moderate course through 2015 and 2016. He contrasted nicely with the national GOP, signing into law a reproductive justice law and staying quiet on guns and crime, while still taking the fiscally conservative, pro-business, line that got him elected in the first place. However, Trump presents a yuge problem. First, Hogan said he voted for his dad (a former GOP Congressman) instead of Trump. That didn't do him any favors with the Trumpites. Then he supported the EO, which alienated a lot of socially liberal, fiscally conservative moderates who voted for him.  Basically he's stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the General Assembly Dems have struck a fairly mainstream (if confrontational) tone against him. How Hogan responds over the next year and a half will play a big part in whether or not he's re-elected.

On the whole, I'd say the race leans Dem if they nominate a strong candidate and Trump remains unpopular with Marylanders.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International What-ifs / What-if? President Strauss-Kahn on: February 14, 2017, 03:24:36 pm
With the candidates and campaigns for the 2017 French Presidential election well underway, what-if Dominique Strauss-Kahn were President of France? How would his policies be received? Would he be popular, or he would have dropped out like Hollande has? What would the state of the other parties be?
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland Governor Race 2018-Democrats on: November 28, 2016, 09:55:12 am
Three candidates whose names have been tossed around:
-Rep. John Delaney
-Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker
-Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What is the appeal of Cory Booker? on: November 15, 2016, 02:59:29 pm
Booker has received a 95% and a 90% rating from the Americans for Democratic Action. So hardly a conservative. He's certainly charismatic and has a great life story (including the fact that he's been a Mayor, which most national figures haven't been).
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: How has your county voted in previous presidential elections? on: October 24, 2016, 12:37:25 pm
Baltimore County
2012: Barack Obama (57%)
2008: Barack Obama (56%)
2004: John Kerry (52%)
2000: Al Gore (53%)
1996: Bill Clinton (46%)
1992: Bill Clinton (44%)

1988: George Bush (57%)
1984: Reagan (61%)
1980: Reagan (47%)
1976: Ford (55%)
1972: Nixon (70%)
1968: Nixon (50%)

1964: Johnson (60%)
1960: Nixon (50%)

Explanation: Today, Baltimore County is a diverse county with a number of different, and fairly distinct, regions. It surrounds Baltimore City and its politics have often reflected changes in the city's demographics and population. Prior the 1950s, the County was very much a rural constituency, with the exception of the Bethlehem Steel factory in Sparrow's Point (just southeast of the city). This changed rapidly after World War Two with the rise of sub-urbanization. Many former city-dwellers (like my grandfather) moved into stand-alone homes in the county, and began to change its politics.

The county is something of  microcosm for America as a whole. White working class towns in the Southeast (Dundalk, Essex, Middle River) and the Southwest (Arbutus, Baltimore Highlands) used to provide the backbone of the Democratic coalition, but have trended sharply Republican in recent years (minus Romney in 2012, who performed very poorly in many of these communities). As an example, Southeast Baltimore County was represented by a Democratic State Senator, three Democratic delegates, and a Democratic County Councilman heading into the 2014 elections. Now every one of those seats is held by a conservative Republican. Meanwhile, Western Baltimore County is the Democratic base in the county. It is a combination of African-American families who have moved out of the city along Reisterstown Road, and largely Jewish communities in the Pikesville area who have always been traditionally Democratic. Northern Baltimore county is still largely rural and conservative, and votes Republican by wide margins. The key swing area, which has shifted from being traditionally Republican to leaning Democrat, are the suburbs just north and north-east of the city: Towson, Parkville, Overlea. These areas determine who wins the county, and are indicative of who wins the state (i.e. if a Democrat can't carry Towson, he/she is struggling to win over moderate suburbanites and is probably going to lose the election). Gov. Hogan swept them in 2014, while O'Malley won them in 2010. They voted heavily for Bush (1988), but began to swing Dem in the 1990s and haven't looked back in national elections.

As for 2016: I imagine Clinton will win Baltimore County by a similar margin as Obama.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Dukakis lose Maryland? on: October 24, 2016, 11:30:17 am
In  the most important Baltimore suburban counties, Bush won: 57.41% (Baltimore County) 56.49% (Howard), 66.03% (Harford) 64% (Anne Arundel) and 71.63% (Carroll County).  Also H. W. was able to get a high enough margin of victory in the rural counties to win unlike in 1980 where Carter was able to do well enough in the Eastern Shore and SOMD to outvote the not-PG suburban counties.

This is pretty much the case. Compare 1988 to 2008: Bush ran extremely well in traditionally Democratic Baltimore County, dominated in the state's rural counties, and nearly won (!) Montgomery County, which was the old bastion of liberal GOP politics but is most certainly not a conservative area in any way.

The causes? I think crime was a huge factor, as was the gun control referendum in terms of driving up turnout in the conservative, rural areas of the state.

Finally, Maryland is a great example of a state that flippped from marginally Dem to strong Dem do in large part to the Clinton-era realignment. A lot of voters in the DC burbs fillped based on social issues and the perception that a) the GOP was the party of the South/Evangelicals and b) that the Democrats were tough enough on crime and sensible on economic issues. The Bush and Obama presidencies have further cemented this tend.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Dubya was Never President... on: July 31, 2015, 10:25:37 am
A lot would depend on 2004: Does the GOP really want to nominate the brother of the guy who just blew a 13-point (Gallup poll, October 2000)? He would be the third Bush to head their ticket in four elections. Additionally, with the contest most likely focusing on foreign policy, voters may prefer a candidate like McCain or Giuliani. Bush probably stays out and finishes his term as Governor.

Now if Gore won reelection, then the situation gets even more interesting. This scenario probably leads Betty Castor to win the Senate seat (unless Bob Graham decides to run for reelection, in which case he wins handedly). Now Bush has an interesting decision to make: Run for the White House in 2008, or wait until 2010 and run for the Senate. I think he'd probably go for the presidency. Ironically, Jeb seems to be the kind of politician who would be very comfortable in the Senate.

2008 probably sees a Republican win, what with the economy going sour (even if it's not as bad as OTL, I find it hard to believe that all of the contributing factors to the recession get butterflied away by President Gore), which means we either get a President Jeb in 2008 or probably never.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Dubya was Never President... on: July 30, 2015, 10:48:37 am
I imagine Bush would be a popular choice in 2004 against Gore, or in 2008 if Gore wins reelection. It's a lot harder to say after that, but Bush would be a popular choice among the GOP establishment in a similar way as he is today (maybe even more so).

As an aside, Mitt Romney's career would be a lot different if Gore won in 2000. Paul Celluci wouldn't be appointed Ambassador to Canada, and would run for reelection as Massachusetts Governor in 2002. Romney would have to look elsewhere to start his political career: Maybe he runs for the Senate seat in New Hampshire and wins the nomination instead of Sununu? Whatever the case, that alone is a huge butterfly.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland 2016 elections on: March 30, 2015, 12:38:26 pm
There are a number of reasons why Brown lost, some of them personal and others a bit broader. He got very lucky in the primaries with Gansler's weak campaign and Mizeur's limited appeal outside of the party's left flank. The results were misleading: Brown was not as popular with rank-and-file Democrats as his numbers suggested. Rather, he was simply the most palatable candidate to the largest number of voters.

The earlier comment on Larry Hogan is right. He was the only Republican candidate who ran on elect-ability. David Craig, his closest rival, ran largely as an anti-tax candidate, while Charles Lollar was something of a Tea Partier. Hogan took a page out of his former boss's (Bob Ehrlich) playbook. He ran on a center-right platform: cut taxes, cut spending, attract businesses to Maryland, and pretty much leave everything else in place (especially laws on social issues). That worked in the GOP primary, and Hogan avoided looking like a radical (or even a "conservative") in the process.

Hogan vs. Brown should have been a landslide for Brown. But, as has been said before, he didn't campaign hard enough and he didn't craft a message which appealed to voters outside of the tried-and-true Democratic base. Far too often his message was "The past eight years have been good. Larry Hogan will roll-back everything." That isn't a message: It's a cop-out.

The lessons from 2014 are important for any Maryland Democrat interested in running for statewide office. We cannot win just by carrying the Big Three (Baltimore City, MOCO, PGC). We cannot win without a message that appeals to middle income, suburban voters. We cannot win by just stirring up fear in what Republicans will do if elected (especially considering that Hogan hasn't adopted too radical of an agenda, yet). Look at what happened in eastern Baltimore County: a bunch of quality Dems got knocked out because they were tied to an unpopular Democratic candidate with a weak message.

The 2016 Senate election should be an easy win for the Dems, especially if Van Hollen is the nominee. But winning will require a better effort than in 2014, and the GOP knows that. The national party should not have to spend any money here. If they do, it's a victory for Republicans in their quest to keep the Senate.

2018 will take even more work, but I'm optimistic about the potential candidates. Delaney and Franchot would make excellent statewide nominees. Kamenetz would be all-right. I'd like to see Dutch run, but I don't think it's happening. Ike Leggett could also be a strong candidate.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: March 27, 2015, 01:32:29 pm
The questions were still a bit difficult to understand despite translating them, but:

1. FG
3. PCF
4. NPA
5. PS

Yeah they're a little tough, but it's helpful to go and look at the party's responses so as to to get an idea of what each answer is getting at.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: March 27, 2015, 12:30:30 pm
This is the best test I've seen pertaining to French political parties. It's in French, so it requires either a knowledge of the language or Google translation (just right-click and hit "translate to English.") This quiz is particularly good in that it gives a variety of options and doesn't try to apply American/British issues and responses to France.

Unsurprisingly, I'm closest to the UDI and MoDem.

18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland 2016 elections on: March 13, 2015, 11:00:30 am
I'm interested to see if Kathleen Matthews runs in the 8th. It would definitely make for a higher-profile race.

Also, keep your eye on Dutch and Delaney. 
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: National Journal: The Emerging Republican Advantage on: February 12, 2015, 01:53:05 pm
Most "emerging majority" talk is premature. Those assessments tend to assume that would happened in the last election will happen in the next. They also tend to assume that a voters demographic makeup determines how they will vote. Sometimes it does, but these trends change overtime (and there is always one election where they filp).

As for 2016, the Democrats are still the favorites based in large part on structural factors (the economy, a huge GOP field, a very solid campaign infrastructure for Hillary) and demographic factors, but any talk of being able to govern for eight years by simply duplicating the Obama coalition is unrealistic. The Democratic Party has advantages, but they are by no means the "majority" party in America.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: If Hillary will win in 2016, what will happen in 2020? on: February 12, 2015, 01:47:33 pm
If the GOP nominates Jeb Bush (or any establishment conservative) in 2016: The right-wing/Tea Party crowd will be in a much stronger position then they are today. Very possible that a Tom Cotton or Rand Paul-esque candidate wins the nomination. If that's the case, then Hillary will be the favorite (but again, winning the White House in four straight elections is pretty remarkable.)

If the GOP nominates a Tea Partier in 2016: The Republicans turn to a more establishment type (Snyder, Ayotte, someone of that mold) and is the favorite. As others have noted, the economy is probably not going to be as strong in 2020 as it likely will be in 2016. If the Republicans nominate a solid candidate, they will have a great shot at winning.

So overall the candidate and the economy matter the most. If the economy is good and the GOP nominates a fringe candidate than Hillary is the favorite. If the reverse is true than she is the underdog. If the economy is strong and the GOP nominates an establishment candidate, Hillary is the slight (very slight) favorite. Same if they nominate a weak candidate and the economy is weak.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: TNR: Democrats Have a White Working Class Problem and Not Just in the South on: August 08, 2014, 08:34:05 pm
I think it's pretty clear that the Democrats need to develop a strong message to these voters (and I think this definition is pretty good, compared to most others) and I think Clinton's the one to do it.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Sabato: IA now tossup, MN a sleeper in the making? on: July 26, 2014, 12:46:44 pm
Sabato's ratings on GA and KY seem related to what Chuck Todd said this morning on MSNBC: Basically that Grimes and Nunn have a really good chance at getting to 48%-49% in the general election, but that he's having a hard time seeing them get to 50% with their state's demographics.

 Comparable to Dan Mongiardo, Tony Knowles, and Brad Carson in 2004, where they ran really good campaigns but the national mood and the simple reality of the states prevented them from winning.

Not that I agree with that assessment, but that what I see Sabato saying here.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How Would Mark Warner Do With the PV/EV If He Is Dem Nominee? on: July 26, 2014, 12:34:29 pm
Depends on what kind of strategy and theme Warner employs. In the 2012 climate, and running on a moderate, job-creator platform, I see this as the best case scenario.

24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: video of 1992 Clinton veep speculation on The McLaughlin Group on: July 26, 2014, 10:00:22 am
Haha! Interesting to see how different politics was just twenty years ago. "West Virginia is a Democratic state" and "New Jersey always goes Republican!"
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: WI President Adlai Stevenson? on: July 25, 2014, 04:55:17 pm
'52. Basically I'm asking how you think the '50s would have turned out if Stevenson, not Eisenhower, was in charge.
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