Takeaways from the Results of the Midterm Elections

  • While Democrats did not win (they lost the House), in betting parlance, they easily covered the spread and earned a draw.
  • The Democrats backed into a decent result as opposed to earning it.
  • Democrats’ best friend = Donald Trump. Trump handpicked, endorsed and campaigned for many of the GOP candidates who were generally mediocre, unqualified and sometimes uncivilized.
  • Trump also selected the Supreme Court members who put over the repeal of Roe vs. Wade that spurred angry young single women to the polls.
  • Possibly voters took notice of the January 6, 2021 Congressional Hearings and decided to mete out their punishment of a party that supported a takeover of the nation’s Capitol and electoral process.
  • Election results have encouraged Joe Biden to run in 2024. Election results did not discourage Donald Trump to run in 2024. Both are delusional old men who should leave the game for younger players.

Uvalde, 1/6/21 Committee and Joe Biden

I seriously doubt that any major gun control legislation will be passed even with the massacre of young children and teachers at Uvalde. The news cycle on the story is fading with the pending 1/6/2021 Commission hearings.

It will be interesting to see the TV ratings and the reaction to the televised Commission hearings starting tonight. I remember how enthralled the country was during the Watergate hearings that ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency in 1974.

So far the 1/6/2021 Committee has produced and delivered compelling video, text, and testimonial evidence of an attempted coup by Donald Trump. The coup appears more organized than many have thought.

Joe Biden will not be the Democratic nominee in 2024. He is a placeholder President. A likable man, but he is showing his age.

I think there is a 50% chance that Biden will not finish his term due to health reasons. It would also provide Kamala Harris an opportunity to be the frontrunner in 2024 though any support for her appears very soft.

Maybe the dumbest trade in sports history involved the Cleveland Browns picking up DeShaun Watson. He is this football era’s OJ Simpson.

I paid $50 to fill my gas tank and I had a 1/2 tank left! That’s why Democrats are going to lose so many election races in November.

Day after Election Day (10:15 a.m.)

I don’t know yet who won the Presidential election but I know who lost, the American people. The country is even more divided 50-50 than projected before. There is no mandate to move one way or the other.

No political landslide this cycle, more like a political mud-slide.

I view political poll results as credible as readings from a crystal ball or investments ideas from a broker. Pollsters have had 72 years since they screwed up the 1948 Dewey-Truman race to improve their collection and screening of data and conduct accurately a snapshot of people’s opinions. Big fails in both national and state polls this election!

Another waste of time are political debates. They rarely move the partisan needle. Trump’s first debate with Biden was a disaster as his conduct was embarrassing. But obviously it did not hurt him in the election. Political debates are like pro wrestling matches – – ballyhooed, choreographed and the results don’t matter.

Democrats ran two very qualified Senate candidates against weakened Republican incumbents and lost decisively, despite polls showing tight races. Theresa Greenfield lost to Joni Ernst in Iowa and Jaime Harrison lost to Lindsay Graham in South Carolina. (Coincidentally to my point above, Ernst and Graham had very poor debate performances.) Republican Susan Collins, who appeared to be in an underdog in her Senate race in Maine, may hold her seat.

Not that half this country’s voters care but there were 1,130 new deaths due to coronavirus yesterday with 92,660 new infection cases.

Dewey Beats Truman: A Cautionary Tale for 2020

I just finished an excellent book titled Dewey Beats Truman: The 1948 Election and The Battle for America’s Soul by AJ Baime. It serves as a cautionary tale of what could happen, particularly to the unpleasant surprise for Democrats, in this year’s Presidential election.

First, my admiration for Truman as a President continues to grow. His administration was dealing with post Second World War relations and issues with the Soviet Union. There was a genuine concern there may be war between the two countries, particularly when the Soviets tried to blockade food and supplies getting into Berlin. Civil Rights was a huge issue as black soldiers returning home from the war demanding equal opportunity and equal justice. Truman initiated a number of civil rights legislation that infuriated the Southern Democrats in his own party. Truman was an early supporter for the state of Israel. This angered many in his party who were concerned that the Arab states would cut back on the distribution of oil to the United States.

Second, there are some corollaries between candidates Truman and Trump. Polls showed that both candidates were/are behind 15-20% of their challengers. Political pundits and writers almost unanimously picked Thomas Dewey, the Republican candidate to win. Dewey was so confident of winning that he was focusing on who would be members of his Cabinet when he won in November. Major newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post endorsed Dewey. Both Trump and Truman were characterized as unpopular candidates. Congressional candidates running for reelection avoided having their endorsements or helping their campaigns with joint appearances. There were also concerns about one candidate winning the popular vote but the other winning the electoral college and causing a crisis. (Fortunately Truman easily won the popular and electoral college vote.)

Third, there were concerns in 1948, like today, of Soviet Union involvement in the election. During the campaign, Joseph Stalin exchanged letters with the progressive candidate, Henry Wallace. Stalin’s involvement intimated that he could work on building a peace with Wallace. The Soviet Union also engaged in certain military and political activities that were intended to discredit the Truman presidency and campaign.

Fourth, Truman’s path to victory was more problematic. Southern Democrats bolted the party as they opposed civil rights for blacks. They nominated Strom Thurmond as their choice for President. (Ironic that Strom was such a huge segregationist as he fathered a black daughter. To his credit, he did support and take care of her, surreptitiously.) The progressive wing of the Democratic Party nominated Henry Wallace as President. Wallace was not afraid to identify with the communist party. Wallace portrayed himself as a peace candidate, he was afraid that Truman would declare war on the Soviet Union.

Since Truman was not expected to win, campaign funds were very low. Customary Democratic party contributors decided to sit out this presidential election. This impacted Truman’s ability to get out his message, particularly with the advent of election coverage by television networks.

Sadly there were some things that happened in 1948 that still occur today. There were a number of incidents where innocent black men were killed by white mobs and gangs in southern states. These murders were often taken to suppress black voting turnout in the South. Despite overwhelming prosecution evidence presented at the trials of the of the people responsible and charged for the crimes, white juries in those southern states would not render guilty verdicts.

There are differences between the campaigns of 1948 and today. In 1948, both Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey refused to engage in character assassination and both treated their respective opponent with relative respect. When the votes were counted, Dewey respectfully conceded the election and wished Truman well. We certainly have not seen that courtesy exhibited today. In addition, the incumbent, President Truman engaged in a whistle-stop tour sharing his plans on foreign and domestic affairs. His speeches were disciplined. Truman addressed voters concerns, he did not engage in vitriolic language and focused on policies, not personality.