Thursday, November 29, 2018

Federal Reserve Sounds Alarms On The Economy

The economy seems to be humming along despite the topsy-turvy stock market, but the Federal Reserve released a report yesterday that sounds cautionary alarms on a number of financial indicators. The report warns that adverse shocks could lead to a decline in asset prices that could be “particularly large.”

The 46-page Financial Stability Report focuses on four particular vulnerabilities to the economy as well as geopolitical risks. The Fed says that asset values are elevated compared with historical norms in several markets and business debt is above historical levels. On the other hand, debt in the financial sector is low and banks have sufficient liquidity to prevent runs.

With respect to asset values, the report points out that both financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds, and real estate are at elevated levels. Even after November’s market declines, “equity price-to-earnings ratios have been trending up since 2012 and are generally above their median values over the past 30 years,” the report notes. Both commercial and residential price-to-rent ratios have been increasing since the end of the recession. Farmland prices have decreased slightly but remain high compared to historical values.

“House prices have risen substantially since 2012,” the Fed says, “although the rate of price appreciation appears to have slowed significantly in recent months.” The tax reform law’s limit on property tax deductions may play a role in the slowdown in rising home values.

More alarming is that business debt levels are high and the Fed notes “signs of deteriorating credit standards.” Of particular note, the report points out that “debt has been growing fastest at firms with weaker earnings and higher leverage.” In other words, companies who are doing the most borrowing are those with the least ability to repay their debt.

The Fed cites three current geopolitical risks to the economy. First, European instability and the effects of Brexit could affect US exporters and financial institutions that participate in European markets. Second, the Fed points out increasing debt in China and other emerging markets “that could be difficult to service in the event of an economic downturn.” In China, where the economy is slowing, “private credit has almost doubled since 2008, to more than 200 percent of GDP.”

The Fed also waves a caution flag at trade tensions and uncertainty that stems from the trade war. It is this trade uncertainty that could cause some investors to become more risk-averse. “The resulting drop in asset prices might be particularly large, given that valuations appear elevated relative to historical levels,” the Fed warns. A collapse in asset prices could lead to difficulties in finding business funding since commercial debt levels are already high.

A final note of caution regards rising interest rates. Interest rates have been kept low since the 2008 financial crisis, but the Fed has recently started bring rates back to normal levels. “Markets and institutions that may have become accustomed to the very low interest rate environment of the post-crisis period will also need to continue to adjust to monetary policy normalization by the Federal Reserve and other central banks,” the Fed warns. “Even if central bank policies are fully anticipated by the public, some adjustments could occur abruptly, contributing to volatility in domestic and international financial markets and strains in institutions.”

The impact of interest rate policy can be seen in yesterday’s stock market rally after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that rates were near the neutral point, “neither speeding up nor slowing down growth,” and that “we may go past neutral, but we’re a long way from neutral at this point, probably.” Powell’s hint that rate increases were nearing an end sparked a 600-point surge in the Dow.

While the Fed report does not warn of unavoidable financial problems, it does list valid concerns about continued economic growth. Over the past few months, several financial outlets have noted that early indicators point toward a possible looming economic slowdown. In August, Forbes noted that commodity prices and asset values usually peak before a recession and interest rates “act oddly.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal said that “economic indicators are flashing yellow” with a slowing housing sector, a collapse of domestic energy prices after a strong first half of 2018, and a “global economy [that] has lost momentum.” Morgan Stanley analysts say that a correction is due and put the chance of recession in 2019 at 15 percent, rising to 30 percent in 2020 as the business cycle enters the “stall/overheating phase.”

On the other hand, Stephen Moore, a former economic advisor for the Trump campaign, argues that fears of slowing growth “should be greeted with a collective yawn.” Moore acknowledges the risk of the trade war but says, “if/when Trump prevails and gets the concessions from China, the market upside is gigantic.”

The bottom line is that the business cycle will eventually come to close and growth will stop as the economy enters a correction. This will happen no matter which party is in office or who occupies the White House. What goes up, must come down.

Originally published on the Resurgent

How The Mueller Investigation Led To A Hold On Judicial Confirmations

You wouldn’t think that the Mueller investigation would have any impact on the ability of Republicans to confirm federal judges. In the current crazy news cycle, you would be wrong.

On Wednesday, a trio of anti-Trump senators tried to bring up a bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) sided with Republican leadership and blocked the bill from coming to vote. Lee’s move led directly to the cancellation of a scheduled Thursday meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that would have prepared several judicial nominees for confirmation votes.

Here is how the two are related:

Lame duck Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was one of the sponsors of the Mueller protection bill. Flake, who is a vocal Trump critic, had threatened to block judicial nominees if Republicans did not allow a vote on the bill.

In retaliation for the Republican action on the Mueller bill, Flake voted against advancing the nomination of Thomas Farr to a federal District Court judgeship. Farr’s nomination did move forward after a 50-50 tie in which Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote. Farr’s confirmation is still in doubt since Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who voted “yes” yesterday, has indicated that he may vote “no” on Farr’s confirmation.  

Scott’s hesitation on Farr stems from a Justice Department memo that links the nominee to a controversial postcard campaign for a Jesse Helms campaign in 1990 that targeted black voters. At the time, Farr was the attorney who represented the head of the North Carolina Republican Party in the investigation of the postcards.

Since there are currently only 51 Senate Republicans, Flake’s stand makes it extremely difficult to advance and confirm judicial nominees. If the 49 Democrats all vote “no,” any Republican opposition in addition to Flake would reject a nominee.

The situation is similar on the Senate Judiciary Committee where Republicans outnumber Democrats 10-9. A “no” vote from Flake paired with 9 Democrat “no” votes would give nominees an unfavorable rating. Even though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could bring nominees up for a vote with an unfavorable rating, Republican leaders hope to avoid that contingency.

Time is on the side of the Republicans in the battle for the judiciary. When the new Congress convenes in January, the GOP will have gained two seats and will have a larger margin in party-line votes. The House, which will soon be under Democrat control, does not have a role in confirming presidential appointments.   

Also in January, Jeff Flake will be gone. The man who has been such a thorn in the side of President Trump and Mitch McConnell is retiring. He will be replaced in the Senate by the new Senator from Arizona, Kirsten Sinema.

Originally published on The Resurgent

The Mueller Team Just Blew Up The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators just debunked the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. As part of the draft document against conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, Mueller’s team cites an email that purports to show that Corsi knew full well that the DNC emails were stolen by Russian hackers in 2016, even as they advanced the baseless theory that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer, stole the emails as part of an inside job and was murdered in retribution.

Earlier this month, Corsi, an Infowars contributor who has also authored books questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship, predicted that he would be indicted by Mueller’s investigation. Corsi recently said that he was offered a plea deal, which he plans to reject. As evidence of his claim, he posted the draft Statement of Offense online.

The document alleges that Corsi was approached in the summer of 2016 by “Person 1,” apparently Roger Stone, who asked him to get in touch with “Organization 1,” WikiLeaks, about the release of the stolen emails. Stone was a top Trump advisor until August 2015 and the two men were longtime friends who apparently kept in contact even after Stone left the Trump campaign. Per the draft, Corsi falsely claimed that he rebuffed Stone’s request and never contacted WikiLeaks.

Per the DOJ, Corsi contacted Julian Assange, who was in hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Corsi then related to Stone that WikiLeaks was in possession of documents damaging to Hillary Clinton and that WikiLeaks planned to release the documents as part of an October surprise.

As evidence, the draft cites a string of emails in which Stone instructs Corsi to contact Assange in July 2016. The first email, in which Stone asked Corsi to contact WikiLeaks, is dated July 25, three days after the initial WikiLeaks dump of 20,000 stolen emails. Two days later, on July 27, Donald Trump called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s private server. The indictment of Russian intelligence agents last July indicated that the Russian hackers spear-phished the Clinton campaign for the first time the same day that Trump made his request.

In the second email, dated July 31, 2016, Stone told Corsi that an unnamed “overseas individual” should “see [the founder of Organization 1],” Assange. The overseas individual was possibly Ted Malloch, an American Trump supporter living and working in England who was reportedly considered for an ambassadorship to the European Union by President Trump.

In an email dated August 2, 2016, Corsi responds:

“Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.… Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton]. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke -- neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”

On August 12, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 posted contact information for most congressional Democrats. The information apparently came from the stolen DNC data.

Even though Corsi acknowledged that hackers were responsible in his August 2, 2016 email, he continued to publicly espouse the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered by the CIA on the orders of John Brennan for the benefit of Hillary Clinton well into 2017 on Twitter, in Infowars articles, and in YouTube videos.

On August 21, 2016, Roger Stone, whose account is now suspended, tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.” Another Stone tweet on Oct. 3 said, “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp.” The next day, Julian Assange released a video announcing that WikiLeaks would be releasing more DNC emails, these stolen from John Podesta. On Oct. 7, hours after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, the next document dump from WikiLeaks is released.

Corsi now says that on August 30, Stone contacted him for help in concocting a cover story to explain the Podesta tweet. Corsi says he wrote a memo about Podesta’s business dealings which Stone claimed was the inspiration for his eerily prescient tweet. Stone denies this version of events, but the Mueller team’s computer analysis may sort out the truth.

“What I construct, and what I testified to the grand jury, was I believed I was creating a cover story for Roger because Roger wanted to explain this tweet,” Mr. Corsi said in the Wall Street Journal. “By the way, the special counsel knew this. They can virtually tell my keystrokes on that computer.”

Stone has denied any knowledge of coordination between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. He also denies that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are de facto Russian agents, a fact disputed by US intelligence. Mike Pompeo, a Republican and President Trump’s pick to head the CIA, called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” The group even had a television show on RT, a Russian propaganda network, in 2012.

The document posted by Corsi raise interesting questions about contacts between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, but it offers definitive proof that the Seth Rich conspiracy theory was never seriously believed by either Corsi or Stone. It was merely a smokescreen to conceal the fact that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC and ultimately used their stolen emails to help elect Donald Trump.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Trump vs. General Motors

Donald Trump launched his latest salvo against General Motors with a threat to end the automaker’s federal subsidies if it follows through with plans to close several North American plants and lay off about 15,000 workers. However, as with Harley Davidson’s decision to move some production to Europe, at least part of GM’s decision can be traced to the president’s trade war.

On Tuesday, the president tweeted, “Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) - don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!”

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow confirmed in a press conference that a possible move to cut GM’s federal subsidies was under consideration. Politico reports that Kudlow announced prior to the president’s tweet that the White House was “going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others, whether they should apply or not.”

Under current law, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit for new electric vehicles purchased in the US. This tax credit applies only the first 200,000 cars that a manufacturer produces. Since GM is close to reaching its limit, any change to existing law would have minimal effect on the company, but auto companies have been lobbying for an expansion of the law. CEO Mary Barra told Forbes that GM planned to double the resources devoted to electric and self-driving cars over the next two years. GM also reportedly gets about $943 million in other unspecified federal grants and tax credits.

Even though President Trump is talking tough over GM’s cuts, his policies are at least partly to blame for the lost jobs. Earlier this year, GM warned that Trump’s tariffs could force layoffs and cause increases in the price of cars. In September, GM announced that its 2018 material costs would increase by an estimated $1 billion due to tariffs as well as higher oil prices, inflation, and tighter supplies.

As with the higher cost of materials, there are a number of factors at play in the decision to close the plants and lay off workers. The plants being closed make sedans which are not selling well in the US as buyers choose more SUVs and trucks. Forbes also notes that the popularity of ridesharing services is driving a reduction in car ownership. A large supply of used cars has also contributed to a decline in new car sales.

The argument that GM’s cuts are purely due to poor sales of sedans misses an important point, however. The Wall Street Journal points out that China is GM’s largest market for small cars. After President Trump applied tariffs to Chinese imports, the Chinese government retaliated with a 40 percent tariff on imported American cars. If GM exports American-made cars to China they get hit with the double whammy of the US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as well as the Chinese tariff on imported cars. That is a powerful incentive for the company to move small car production to China.

The entire episode is an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. When President Trump launched his tariff policy to protect the American steel industry, it was entirely foreseeable that American companies that consume steel would suffer from higher steel prices. In the case of the auto industry, other problems are exacerbated by the trade war.

President Trump’s heavy-handed attempts to intimidate GM into keeping its plants open miss the mark. If the plants make products that are not competitive, then keeping them open will only weaken the rest of the company and possibly lead to further problems. If GM continues to build cars in the US that it cannot sell either here or abroad then it will be forced to either carry a large inventory or sell the cars at a loss. Alternatively, GM could pay workers to do nothing, but is a business‘s purpose to provide meaningless jobs or to sell products for a profit?
A better course would be to allow GM’s executives to take the steps to cut costs without incurring more public relations damage than necessary. The president should also get serious about eliminating trade barriers so American workers can build cars in this country and ship them around the world without incurring tariffs that make them too expensive for foreign consumers.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s trade policy has been similar to his immigration policy in that it focuses on erecting walls. Trump’s regulatory walls of tariffs and retaliatory measures by other countries are having the opposite effect from what was intended. Unless Trump reverses his trade policy, more American jobs will be shipped overseas to elude the tariffs that are being placed both on imported materials and exported American goods.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Jesse Kelly Speaks Out About His Lifetime Ban From Twitter

Jesse Kelly, the conservative pundit and Iraq War veteran who received a lifetime ban from Twitter over the weekend, talked about his ban with Tucker Carlson on Fox News yesterday. Kelly said that he still doesn’t know exactly why Twitter banned him.

“Nobody knows” exactly what prompted the Twitter ban, Kelly told Carlson. “Twitter kicked me off the platform because I was a mainstream voice on the right that spoke the truth.”

“They’ve given me no explanation as they told Congress they would give explanations,” he added. “All they sent was an email that said, ‘You are permanently banned and you can’t appeal it for repeated rule violations,’ only I don’t violate their rules. I don’t cuss at people on there, I don’t harass people on there. I don’t do any of those ugly things that some people do.”

“My account vanished like a Hillary Clinton email,” Kelly joked ruefully.

When asked if he had contacted Twitter, Kelly said that there was no phone number to call and that his account was totally disabled so that he could not even email Twitter’s customer support team. He said that he had emailed some people who worked at Twitter but did not expect a response.

“They did exactly what I said they would do,” Kelly told Carlson. “They came for Alex Jones first because he’s a nut job and they wanted to see how the right would react. They got him and I knew they were coming for me. They’ll come for you too.”

“It’s not a big deal that I got kicked off Twitter,” Kelly said. “It hurts Twitter worse than it hurt me because they finally kicked off somebody that woke everybody on the right up. People are now starting to realize what Twitter has become.”

Kelly said that Twitter is “a blank piece of paper” that “somehow woke up and decided… that they were in control of what gets put on that piece of paper.”

“That’s not where their power lies,” he added.

“If they continue along this path, it’s going to be nothing but two feminists screaming at each other because one of them accidentally found a boyfriend,” Kelly joked.

The social media giants “have the best of both worlds,” Kelly said. “They are treated like media platforms… where people can post what they want as long as it’s not inciting violence, only they are acting like Think Progress, they are acting like the New York Times, because these radical voices on the left never get censored.”

“Even [Louis] Farrakhan, that complete scumbag that has a tweet still up comparing Jews to termites, he still has an account, but I post things about Velveeta and mine gets banished,” Kelly complained.

  Originally published on The Resurgent

Today's Mississippi Senate Runoff Favors Republicans

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith holds the edge in the Mississippi Senate runoff today. Mississippi is typically a red state but Hyde-Smith’s comments about a “public hanging” and allegations of racism have given the race an air of uncertainty.

On Nov. 6, Hyde-Smith, the Republican appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to replace Thad Cochran after his retirement, bested three other candidates but failed to win the majority required. Today’s runoff pits her against the Democrat Mike Espy, the second-place finisher.

After the Nov. 6 election, a video surfaced of Hyde-Smith complimenting a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the first row.” In a second video, the senator joked that “maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult” for “liberal folks” to vote, a controversial statement amid charges of voter suppression by Democrats. Other controversies have also erupted amid allegations that Hyde-Smith attended a segregated private school after Mississippi schools were integrated and that she cosponsored a resolution honoring a former Confederate soldier who “fought to defend his homeland and contributed to the rebuilding of the country.”

The racial aspect of the campaign may have a big impact since Mississippi is a state where blacks make up 38 percent of the population. Only 32 percent of the electorate on Nov. 6 was black, but the allegations about Hyde-Smith and the fact that the Democratic candidate is black may encourage black voters to turn out for the runoff in larger numbers. Mississippi allows registered voters to vote in the runoff even if they did not vote in the Nov. 6 election.

There has been only one public poll of the runoff. The RRH Elections survey found Hyde-Smith leading Espy by a 54-44 percent margin. While this seems to be a comfortable margin, the fact that President Trump conducted a series of rallies in the state seems to indicate that Republicans are leaving nothing to chance.

Polls close in Mississippi at 7:00 p.m. Central time. If Hyde-Smith retains her seat, Republicans will have a 53-47 advantage when the new Congress convenes next year.  

Originally published on the Resurgent

Saturday, November 17, 2018

After Midterms, Republicans Are Endangered Species On West Coast

As midterm election results continue to roll in from California, the extent of the Republican rout on the West Coast is becoming apparent. At this point, it looks as though Democrat gains in the House will be a net increase of 38 seats. Almost 20 percent of these gains come from the West Coast and many are in the one-time Republican stronghold of Orange County, California where Republican congressional districts were wiped out.

Prior to the election, Republicans held four of the six seats in the suburban Los Angeles county. The 46th and 47th districts were previously Democratic districts, but the remainder of the county has traditionally been Republican.

The Democratic gains in Orange County were mixed between picking up Republican open seats and knocking off GOP incumbents. Dana Rohrabacher, the 48th district congressman widely considered to be the most pro-Kremlin Republican, lost to Democrat Harley Rouda and Republican Mimi Walters in the 45th district was defeated by Katie Porter. In the 49th district, Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight committee, famous for his investigations of Benghazi and Fast and Furious, announced his retirement and saw his seat flip to the Democrats as Mike Levin defeated Diane Harkey. In the 39th district, another Republican retirement cleared the way for Democrat Gil Cisneros to defeat Republican Young Kim.

The Orange County Republican rout is similar to the Republican difficulties in the rest of the country. Orange County is heavily suburban and has a declining population of whites, which make up only 42 percent of the population per California Demographics. Hispanics comprise 34 percent of county residents while 19 percent are Asian. Exit polls show that nationally less than 30 percent of those minority groups voted Republican.

Democrats also flipped two other California congressional districts in California. The 10th district in Turlock, north of San Francisco, and the 25th district in Palmdale, on the north side of LA, both voted out Republican incumbents.

A seventh West Coast district, Washington’s 8th, home to Rep. Dave Reichert, another retiring Republican, is being replaced by Democrat Josh Harder. At this point, Democrats control seven of Washington’s 10 congressional districts. The third district, represented by Republican Herrera Beutler, is now the only Republican district on the entire West Coast that borders on the Pacific Ocean.

There were no flipped seats in Oregon, but four of the state’s five districts were already Democrat. Only Gregg Walden’s second district, which covers the inland two-thirds of the state, is represented by a Republican.

If the Republicans want to take back the House, they will have to become more competitive in suburban House districts like those in Orange County. Reversing this year’s losses will also require that the GOP overcome the current trend of declining minority support.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mia Love Sues To Stop Ballot Count In Utah

Yet another election lawsuit has been filed as Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) has asked a judge to stop the ballot count in her congressional district. Love’s campaign is seeking approval to challenge the county verification of signed envelopes that accompany absentee ballots.

Love was reported to have lost on election night, but the race is very close and has not yet been officially decided. Yesterday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Love has narrowed the race and trailed Democrat Ben McAdams by 873 votes.

Love alleges that her campaign representatives have been allowed to observe the counting, but that challenges to the authenticity of voter signatures have been ignored, notes the Daily Caller. A hearing was scheduled on the lawsuit for Thursday afternoon, but Salt Lake County continued counting ballots in the meantime, releasing the updated count Wednesday night.

Love was mocked by President Trump the day after the election for her loss. The president singled her out for failing to ask for an endorsement of her re-election campaign, saying, “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”

Love’s opponent, Democrat Ben McAdams tweeted in response to the lawsuit, “It is the job of election officials to decide what votes count, not political candidates. Rep. Love's decision to sue only in SLCo as she continues to trail in this race is unfortunate and smacks of desperation. Utah voters deserve better than this.”

Utah’s four congressional districts were all represented by Republicans prior to the midterm elections. Rep. Love’s fourth district, which includes part of Salt Lake City and its southern suburbs, is the only district in danger of being controlled by Democrats.

In other parts of the country, election results continue to trickle in with new gains for Democrats. The race for Maine’s second district was finally decided today in favor of Democrat Jared Golden. Golden, a Marine veteran, defeated Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin. Golden’s victory brings the total Democrat gains in the House to 35 seats with seven races still undecided. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Ruling In CNN Lawsuit Over Acosta Ban Expected Today

The judge presiding over the CNN lawsuit regarding Jim Acosta’s White House press access said that he will issue a ruling this afternoon. CNN filed suit on Tuesday and the first hearing in the case was held yesterday. CNN is asking for a temporary restraining order that would force the government to return Mr. Acosta’s White House access.
CNN’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous, said that the “judge was very, very, focused on the key issues of the case.”
In the two-hour hearing, Judge Timothy of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, a Trump appointee, probed CNN’s claim that Acosta’s ban was viewpoint discrimination rather than an action based on the reporter’s conduct. Boutrous cited the Trump Administration’s attack on CNN for “liberal bias” in a fundraising email sent after the revocation.
James Burnham, the attorney representing the Justice Department, said that the White House didn’t need a reason to ban Acosta “because there's no First Amendment protection and the President has broad discretion.”
Burnham attacked CNN’s First Amendment claim, saying, “A single journalist's attempt to monopolize a press conference is not a viewpoint and revoking a hard pass in response to that is not viewpoint discrimination.”
At issue is whether the White House had valid cause to revoke Acosta’s press access. There is legal precedent from the 1977 case Sherrill v. Knight that “such refusal [for press access] must be based on a compelling governmental interest.” Judge Kelly must decide whether Acosta’s disruptive actions at last week’s press conference were sufficient to give the White House a valid reason for revoking his access. President Trump’s longstanding feud with CNN and Acosta give the news outlet ammunition to claim that the ban was directed at CNN because of their unfriendly coverage of the Trump Administration.
Numerous news organizations such as Fox News and the USA Today Network have filed briefs supporting CNN’s petition. “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized,” said Jay Wallace, president of Fox News. “While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the president and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”
The ruling is expected at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time today.

Originally published on The Resurgent

UPDATE; 11/15/2018 4:02 PM Earlier today, we reported that a ruling would be coming down this afternoon on whether CNN would be granted temporary relief from the White House's decision to revoke press access for Jim Acosta following last week's press conference kerfuffle. We can now report that federal judge Timothy Kelly has delayed the hearing on the temporary restraining order until tomorrow.
CNN reported earlier today that Kelly had rescheduled the hearing for Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. At the hearing, Kelly, a Trump appointee, will decide whether to issue a temporary order that restores Acosta's press access until the case is decided. Regardless of tomorrow's decision, CNN says that the case will go forward as they pursue permanent restoration of Mr. Acosta's White House media privileges.

New Ruling Puts End To Georgia Election Wrangling In Sight

A federal judge issued a ruling in Democrat Stacey Abrams lawsuit over the Georgia gubernatorial election. Last night, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled that the secretary of state has confirmed that absentee ballots with missing or incorrect birthdates are counted.

Per a report by WSB Radio, Judge Jones, an Obama appointee, agreed to Abrams’ request to count absentee ballots with missing or incorrect birthdates but rejected several other requests by the Democratic candidate.  Ballots cast by voters in the wrong county or with incorrect residence addresses will not be counted.

Under Georgia law, if a voter goes to the wrong precinct to vote, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot is counted if the voter is determined to be a resident of the county and has not voted elsewhere. Several counties in Metro Atlanta reported that they rejected hundreds of ballots because people voted in a county where they were not a resident. In Fulton County, 972 ballots cast by out-of-county voters were rejected.

Abrams is about 19,000 votes short of being able to force a runoff. Austin Chambers, an advisor to Republican candidate Brian Kemp said on Twitter that the ruling would affect about 800 votes, “nowhere near enough to change the race. This is over.”

Even if the ruling does not change the outcome of the gubernatorial race, it may affect a still-undecided congressional race. Atlanta’s 11 Alive reported that the election for the seventh congressional district was still undecided. Republican incumbent Bob Woodall leads Democrat challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by only 533 votes or 0.2 percent of the total. Georgia law allows candidates to ask for a recount if the margin in the election is less than one percent.

A similar ruling in a separate lawsuit filed by Bourdeaux required Gwinnett County to count absentee ballots with incorrect or missing birthdates as well. The Gwinnett County ruling was issued by Judge Leigh Martin May, also an Obama appointee, prior to yesterday’s ruling by Judge Jones. Per 11 Alive, the ruling affected at least 265 ballots with the birth year omitted and at least 58 ballots where the birth year was listed as 2018.

How long the recount of absentee ballots will take is uncertain at this point. The state deadline for certifying election was results was missed Tuesday due to the lawsuits. Under the new ruling, all of Georgia’s 159 counties will have to recount the absentee ballots and recertify their results.

Erick Erickson wrote on Resurgent, “There will be no recount and there will be no runoff. There are simply not enough votes. The only thing Democrats have left is to help [Democrat Secretary of State candidate] John Barrow get elected in the runoff.”

“On the upside, this is all almost over,” Erickson added.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How Martha McSally Could Still End Up In The Senate

Martha McSally lost this year’s Senate race in Arizona, but she could soon be a US Senator anyway. In a bit of irony following the hard-fought race for the seat of the retiring Jeff Flake, both McSally and Democrat Kirsten Sinema, the winner in last week’s election, could soon be office neighbors across the country in Washington, D.C.

The secret to McSally’s possible success lies in the fact that former Senator Jon Kyl was appointed to fill John McCain’s seat after his death last summer. Kyl, who is 76, agreed to fill McCain’s seat through the end of this year. If Kyl retires before the end of McCain’s elected term in 2022, then Arizona’s Republican governor will appoint another successor to fill the seat. If Gov. Doug Ducey needs a Republican to fill a Senate seat, what better person would there be than a popular conservative congresswoman who just received more than a million votes in a very close Senate campaign?

McSally, a 52-year-old former Air Force fighter pilot, would have to defend her seat in 2022. Given her close race against Sinema in a heavily Democratic year, the advantage of incumbency in an electoral landscape that is possibly post-Trump would make it very likely that McSally would successfully defend her seat.

Laurie Roberts at the Arizona Republic wrote Monday that Gov. Ducey should appoint McSally in an effort to “salve… the open, gaping wound that is post-election Arizona.” Roberts said that McSally has traditionally been a “more moderate voice than the one portrayed during this campaign -- the one that allowed her to represent the state's most competitive district.”

Roberts also noted that McSally has a history of being “willing to work across the political aisle.” That is a quality that is currently in short supply and is very much needed.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How Donald Trump Repeated Barack Obama's Biggest Mistake... With Similar Results

As news of the Republican midterm defeat continues to trickle in, it is becoming more apparent that 2018 was a blue anti-Trump wave after all. The Republicans made small gains in the Senate, thanks to an abnormally friendly map, but the GOP lost the House as well as seven gubernatorial seats and numerous seats in state legislatures across the country. How we got to this point is remarkably similar to how Barack Obama led the Democrats to lose more than a thousand seats in his eight years.

As I have written in the past, Donald Trump has echoed many of President Obama’s mistakes and has now yielded similar results. The bottom line is that both Barack Obama, who campaigned as a moderate Democrat, and Donald Trump, who was elected with the support of a minority of voters, both governed as though they had a broad mandate to enact a laundry list of wishes from their most partisan supporters when what voters really wanted was for both parties to work together.  

Barack Obama began his administration with staggering popularity and goodwill. Two years later, he had squandered much of his approval by forcing through an unpopular health care reform law against the will of the people. Opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the way that Democrats enacted the law were prime factors in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

Ironically, Obamacare was unpopular when passed by the Democrats and promises to repeal and replace the law played a major role in the rise of the Republican Congress since 2010. Unfortunately, President Trump and Republicans made a hash of healthcare reform. In fact, Republicans handled health care reform so badly that they managed to do what Obama and the Democrats could not do: They convinced voters that the Affordable Care Act was a good thing.

Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions are so popular that the law directly contributed to the loss of a Republican Senate seat in Arizona. Just before the election, Republican candidate Martha McSally told Sean Hannity that she was getting her “ass kicked” over her vote to reform Obamacare because Democrats were invoking fear that Republicans wanted to eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions. It now appears that McSally has lost her Senate race to Democrat Kirsten Sinema.

In addition to healthcare, the Trump Administration has adopted a number of other unpopular policies as well. The tax reform law that caused the economy to surge is still not popular with voters. Trump’s policy of separating illegal immigrants from their children was widely unpopular. Likewise, Trump’s personal behavior consistently drives down his approval ratings.

In 2010, Democrats took a “shellacking,” in President Obama’s words. Republicans gained six Senate seats, 63 House seats, and six governorships as well as doing well in down-ballot races for state and local offices. The GOP won control of the House but, like Democrats this year, were unable to win the Senate. For Republicans, it took two more elections until the party finally won the Senate in 2014. Now, rather than building on those hard-won gains, Republicans are giving them back.  

To say that the 2018 wave was not as large as the 2010 wave misses the point. Democrats had more seats to give up than Republicans did. Even after losing six Senate seats in 2010, Democrats controlled 53 seats including two Democrat-leaning independents. The House results in 2018 will leave Democrats within a few seats of the 242 that Republicans controlled after 2010.

The bigger picture is that 2018 was a wholesale rejection of President Trump by moderate and suburban voters. USA Today reported that more than 80 suburban counties voted more Democrat this year than in 2016. In 20 of these counties, Democrats saw a double-digit surge. CNN’s exit polls show that Republicans lost female voters as well as minorities, the middle class, and college-educated voters. Republicans lost moderate voters by 26 points this year compared with eight points in 2014.

President Trump, like Barack Obama, has an abrasive style that is much-loved by his ardent supporters but few others. Like Obama, Trump tends to divide up the electorate and focus on turning out his base rather than on winning converts. Also, like Obama, President Trump is apparently incapable of reaching across the aisle to form a bipartisan legislative coalition, preferring instead to use (or overuse) his executive authority to make small, temporary changes rather than sweeping, permanent ones.

Republicans may look at all that and say, “So what? Obama got re-elected.”

That’s true, but Obama also had a large victory than President Trump, who lost the popular vote and only eked out an Electoral College win with skin-of-the-teeth victories in several states. Obama had much more support that he could lose. And lose it he did, just not quite in large enough numbers to lose the 2012 election.

Up until now, Republicans have maintained a narrative that President Trump’s economic success will overcome problems with his personal style. After the midterms, it is painfully obvious that this view is not true. President Trump is overwhelmingly popular with Republicans and unpopular with everyone else. That leaves the Republican Party in a difficult spot.

The GOP has three different options for moving forward. First, its members can convince President Trump to change course. Trump could possibly reach out to the new Congress and become the dealmaker that he claimed to be in 2016. The two parties could work together to resolve the issues that confront the country. Obviously, this won’t happen.

The second alternative is for Republicans to distance themselves from Trump and try to repair the damage with moderate voters. One problem here is that Donald Trump does not take rejection well. Distancing oneself from the president will bring forth the full wrath and fury of the First Tweeter. A second problem is that many polls suggest that today’s Republican voters are more loyal to Donald Trump than to traditional Republican ideals. Unless Republican voters sour on Trump, most Republicans officials who oppose him are likely to be on the losing end of the fight.

Finally, the third option is for Republicans to say, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead,” and go right on doing exactly what they are doing. This is the option that Democrats chose after 2010 and, given President Trump’s claim that the midterms were a “big victory” for Republicans, it seems likely that the GOP will follow this course now.

If the parallels between the Obama and Trump Administrations persist, Trump might be re-elected by following Obama’s model of doing very little aside of issuing Executive Orders and blaming the opposition for their obstructionism. However, given Mr. Trump’s slim victory margin in 2016 and the GOP’s lack of success in the “blue wall” states this year, it seems more likely that the parallels will diverge as the president fails to win a second term.

If President Trump and the Republicans realize the error that they are making, they may be able to break the pattern before the party suffers a series of Obama-like defeats. Although they would have to stand up to factions of the base on issues such as immigration, if Republicans can come together with Democrats to create bipartisan solutions, they might be able to win back their majority. More importantly, they would be helping the country and doing the job that the voters hired them to do.  

Originally published on The Resurgent

Monday, November 12, 2018

Republicans Shouldn't Joke About Hangings

From the WTF files, the Republican incumbent senator in Mississippi commented about being on the “front row” of a “public hanging.” If you are wondering in what context it is appropriate for senators anywhere, much less Mississippi, to use the phrase “public hanging” in an approving sense, there is none.

The unfortunate and asinine comment came in a video released over the weekend that depicted a Nov. 2 conversation between Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and a group of supporters in Tupelo. In the video clip, Hyde-Smith is standing beside a tall man who has been identified as Colin Hutchinson, a cattle rancher who supported her re-election campaign. Hutchinson has his arm around her shoulders and the two are standing in front of a small group of supporters, all of whom are white.

The dialogue is difficult to make out because of a train horn that is blowing at the same time, but Hyde-Smith gestures toward the man and clearly says, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the first row.”

In a statement released on Sunday, Hyde-Smith dismissed the comment as a joke, saying, “I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.”

While Hyde-Smith’s comment was obviously an attempt at homespun humor, it is equally obvious that the joke fell flat and played right into the hands of the Democrats. In a close race with Democrat Mike Espy, who happens to be black, making a reference that would be connected with lynchings is monumentally stupid.

Whether Hyde-Smith intended the reference to be racial or not, many voters took it that way and now she has to spend time explaining to voters that she’s not a racist, she’s only a person who makes stupid comments. Most candidates would rather spend the weeks before a close runoff election talking about policy and criticizing their opponent instead of explaining their sense of humor.

Here’s a free piece of advice for Republican candidates everywhere: Democrats are going to try to paint you as bigots and racists. Don’t say things that help them do this.

Between 1877 and 1950, about 4,000 black people and about half as many whites were lynched by racial mobs that often included members of the Ku Klux Klan. The murderers in the cases were rarely prosecuted. One of the most famous lynchings, the murder of Emmet Till, occurred in Mississippi as did the murders of Medgar Evers and other civil rights workers. It is not surprising that modern black Americans are still a bit sensitive about a century of lawlessness and racial violence.

It shouldn’t come as a shock to most readers that the Republican Party has a problem with minorities. Exit polls confirm that the GOP’s performance with minorities, particularly black voters, is abysmal. When Republicans such as Cindy Hyde-Smith make comments that can be perceived as race-baiting by minority voters, it only confirms the attitudes that black voters already have about Republicans.

The thoughtless remark may also put Mississippi’s Senate seat in jeopardy. Hyde-Smith was appointed to take the place of Thad Cochran, a Republican Senator who retired earlier this year. In the election last week, she finished one point ahead of Espy in a three-way race that also included Republican Chris McDaniel. Since no candidate received a majority of votes, Hyde-Smith and Espy now face each other in a runoff.

Mississippi is typically considered a red state. It has not had a Democrat Senator since 1988, but, like many Southern states, Mississippi has a large black population that typically votes Democrat. In fact, blacks make up about 38 percent of Mississippi’s population, but only 32 percent of Mississippi voters this year were black. There's a pretty good chance that black voters might be motivated to turn out for a black Democrat over a white Republican who jokes about lynching.

Mississippi is red in large part because many of its black voters don’t show up. If the Republican Party continues to alienate black voters while its candidates simultaneously make statements that motivate black voters to get to the polls, it won’t end well for the GOP.

The Republican Party seems to have gotten the notion that it can nominate pretty much anybody in the South and they will still get elected because Democrats are worse. Donald Trump bragging about grabbing kittens? Sure. Brian Kemp pointing a gun at his daughter's beau and talking about hauling illegals in his pick-em-up truck? Fine. Ron DeSantis teaching his toddler to build a wall with blocks? Okay.

2018 should be a wakeup call for Republicans. They didn’t actually lose across the South, but they very nearly did. Kemp, DeSantis, Rick Scott, and even Ted Cruz in Texas had very narrow victories. If Republicans keep nominating people that appeal primarily to white Republicans with no regard for winning minority voters, they are probably going to start losing. The losing may begin with Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Senator Hyde-Smith should not try to defend her statement. She should apologize for making such a stupid joke. Being sensitive to how other people perceive what you say is not being politically correct. It’s being polite.

She should also go talk to some black voters. She should ask to address the state NAACP and go to some black church services. She should make visits to black neighborhoods and ask for the support of black voters. Until the GOP starts doing this, black voters will continue to support Democrats and thoughtless comments will further cement the status of blacks as a Democrat bloc.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Florida Recount and Vote Fraud Allegations

Florida’s secretary of state ordered an official recount to begin today. Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Republican, ordered the recount in both the Senate and gubernatorial races after the vote margin from the unofficial results that included absentee ballots was found to be within 0.5 percent. Under Florida law, less than 0.5 percent difference mandates a statewide machine recount of all ballots. There will also be a recount in the agriculture commissioner race.

Following Detzner’s announcement of the recount, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum rescinded his concession, saying, “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote” per CBS News.

Republican candidate Ron DeSantis responded, “With the election behind us, it's now time to come together as a state as we prepare to serve all Floridians. Since Tuesday night, that is what I have been doing and that is what I will continue to do in the days and weeks ahead.”

As of noon on Saturday, Republican candidates led the governor and Senate races while Democrat Nikki Fried led Republican Matt Caldwell in the Agriculture Commissioner race by 5,326 votes according to Florida Politics. DeSantis led Gillum by 33,864 votes while Republican Rick Scott led incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson by 12,562 votes.

“Democrats would like nothing more than to rip victories away from Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott and Matt Caldwell,” said Christian Ziegler, a member of the Florida GOP Executive Board told Florida Politics. “As we’ve seen in Broward County, they will stop at nothing to win, including possibly violating the law.”

On Friday, Senator Marco Rubio (F-Fl.) tweeted an accusation that Broward County mishandled provisional ballots. Rubio said that Broward had included invalid provisional ballots in the vote totals that it submitted to the state, an accusation backed up by the Miami Herald.  

Rubio also tweeted about provisional ballot boxes found in Broward and speculated that the unguarded boxes could contain more ballots. An attorney for the county’s Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, told the Miami Herald that the boxes had previously contained ballots, but now contained only office supplies.

Alleging vote fraud, earlier this week Rick Scott sued to force Broward and Palm Beach Counties to allow campaign and party representatives to monitor ballot counting. By Saturday night, the Miami Herald reported that state observers form the Florida Division of Elections had seen no evidence of criminal activity.

In a machine recount, the county duplicates ballots that were damaged and all ballots are rescanned. If the numbers match up and the resulting margin is greater than 0.25 percent, the county certifies the results and submits them to the state. Undervotes and overvotes, ballots on which voters made too few or too many choices, are not counted the machine recount. If the margin is less than 0.25 percent after the machine recount, a hand recount of overvotes and undervotes only is ordered. The entire process could take several days. Additionally, overseas ballots can be accepted until Nov. 16.

In 2000, a recount of the presidential election votes in Florida also centered on Palm Beach and Broward Counties. That recount took 36 days to complete. Democrat Al Gore conceded to George W. Bush on Dec. 13.

So far there is no firm evidence of wrongdoing or improper activities in the handling of Florida ballots, but it is curious that recounts always seem to benefit Democrats. Even though some Republicans can still win elections after a recount, I can’t recall a single recount that left a Republican candidate with a better margin over their opponent than before the recount started.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Saturday, November 10, 2018

As More Election Results Come In, The Blue Wave Gets Bigger

As the results of the midterm election continue to come in, the extent of the Democratic wave is becoming larger than it seemed on Tuesday night. Not all House races have been called, but it appears that, when the dust settles, Democrats will have gained at least 35 seats. In the Senate, Republicans seem to have gained three seats (with Arizona and Florida still not settled) due to a very friendly map.

But beyond these headline congressional matchups, the blue wave extended to the state level.   Democrats won full control of state governments in six states: Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, New York, and Nevada. At the same time, Republicans lost control of four states, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, as voters decided to divide the branches of government. The only state that moved from divided government to Republican control was Alaska.

As the nation moves toward redistricting after the 2020 census, increased control of state governments gives Democrats an edge in many states where drawing congressional districts is a partisan process. The Republican wave of 2010 and its influence on the redistricting that followed helped to blunt Republican losses this year, which was still the largest Democratic wave since the Watergate era.  

In gubernatorial races, Democrats flipped seven states from red to blue. Even though Democrats lost high profile races in Florida and Georgia, the party quietly took control of governor’s mansions in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. The only state where Republicans added a governorship was Alaska, where Republican Mike Dunleavy succeeded independent Bill Walker.

Democrats took full control of the state legislatures in Colorado, Maine, and New York, all of which had been formerly split with Democrats in control of one house and Republicans the other. In Minnesota, Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, making the state the only divided legislature in the country. Per the National Conference of State Legislatures, next year, Republicans will control 30 legislatures and 21 state governments and Democrats will control of 18 legislatures and 14 states.

Before the election, Republicans held a narrow advantage in the share of state legislators. Republicans had 52 percent of state legislators compared with 47 percent for Democrats. Those numbers have not been updated since the election due to many races still being undecided.

Judgeships are often overlooked in elections since judges are appointed in some states and nonpartisan in others. There was, however, at least one smashing victory for Democratic judicial candidates. In Texas, Beto O’Rourke lost but his surge of Democrat voters increased Democrat control of state appeals courts to seven of 14, including the influential courts in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Before the election, Democrats controlled only three of these courts.

As more election results trickle in, it is more and more apparent that there was a blue wave. The fact that Republicans extended their hold on the Senate and won highly publicized gubernatorial races in Florida and Georgia masked many of the gains made by Democrats this week. It would be a mistake for Republicans to laugh off the Democrat wave based on winning red state Senate seats and governorships by narrow margins. Unless Republicans can reverse the voter anger at President Trump and their party, they may be in for more devastating election in the years to come.

A hidden result of Barack Obama’s Administration was that, even though Democrats retained the presidency for eight years, they lost more than a thousand legislative seats in Congress and around the country. As Republican unpopularity mounts, Democrats are on track to regain many of these lost seats.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Friday, November 9, 2018

What 2018 Exit Polls Tell Us About Republican Voters

The exit polls are in for this week’s midterm elections. If you’re a politics junkie, it can be fascinating to compare the breakdown of this year’s voters with previous years. Even if you aren’t a fan of statistics, it can be useful to look at who voted for who to help determine why the election turned out the way it did.

In this case, we can look back at previous exit polls to compare how well Republicans and Democrats did with various demographic groups. Since midterm elections have a different electorate from presidential elections, I looked at CNN’s exit polls from 2014 as well as 2016 to compare them with the new results from the 2018 midterms.

The most basic breakdown is between genders. In 2018, Republicans won 51 percent of male voters but lost female voters by a 19-point margin (40-59 percent). This was six points worse than the 2016’s 13-point gender gap and 15 points worse than 2014.

Democrats typically win younger voters and 2018 was no exception. The difference this year was that the Republican-leaning age groups were even older than normal. In 2014 and 2016, Republicans won majorities of age groups above 40-years-old while Democrats won all age groups younger than 40. In 2018, Democrats won all age groups younger than 50.

Margins were worse for Republicans in all age groups as well. Even though the GOP won all age groups older than 50 in 2018, the margin was only 1-2 points, a virtual tie.

When it comes to race, there was more bad news for Republicans. The GOP won just over half of white voters, 54 percent, and lost all other racial demographics by convincing margins. The share of white voters won by Republicans has declined from 60 percent in 2014 and 57 percent in 2016.

In the exit polls, minority voters are broken into three categories, black, Latino, and Asian. Again, the Republican share of these demographic groups has declined as well. The percentage of each group that voted Republican is listed below by year:
Black – 10 percent
Latino – 36 percent
Asian – 50 percent
Black – 8 percent
Latino – 28 percent
Asian – 27 percent
Black – 9 percent
Latino – 29 percent
Asian – 23 percent

Between 2014 and 2018, Republican support among blacks remained relatively constant at just less than 10 percent. Support among Latinos declined initially and then stabilized at slightly less than 30 percent. Support among Asians has been more than halved over four years.

In 2004, when President George W. Bush ran on immigration reform, the numbers for Latinos and Asians were considerably better than they are today. Although President Bush only garnered 11 percent of the black vote, he won 44 percent of the Latino vote and 44 percent of the Asian vote.

Interestingly, while the percentage of black and Asian voters in the electorate has remained relatively constant, the share of Latino voters has increased. From eight percent in both 2004 and 2014, Latinos increased to 11 percent in 2016 and 2018. Over the same time period, white voters decreased from 77 percent of the electorate to 71 percent.

Voting patterns have also changed with respect to education. In 2014, Democrats won voters without high school diplomas and voters with postgraduate degrees. Republicans won high school graduates and four-year college graduates. By 2016, most college graduates were voting Democrat. In the 2018 elections, voters who had not graduated high school and voters with associate degrees were the only categories won by Republicans.

By ideology, conservatives usually vote Republican and liberals usually vote Democrat. The share of conservative, liberal, and moderate voters has remained relatively constant over the past four years, but moderate voters have voted Democrat at an increasing rate. In 2014, moderates went Democrat by eight points. By 2016, the margin was 12 points and, this year, moderates selected Democrats by a whopping 26 points.

Low-income voters typically vote Democrat, but Republicans won voters who earned above $50,000 annually by double-digit margins in 2014. In 2016, Republicans eked out a victory in the $50-100,000 range by only three points. Voters who earned more split almost equally between the two parties. This year, Democrats won the $50-100,000 category while Republicans won voters who earned more than $100,000.

Republicans enlarged their Senate majority in 2018, but the party has lost support in every demographic group. Even white males, the GOP’s core demographic, has declined from 64 percent support in 2014 to 60 percent in 2018.

Much has been made of the Republican gender gap with 2018 being called the “year of the angry female college graduate.” This prediction turned out to be true with Republicans losing women by almost 20 points. Unfortunately, the Republican problem is not limited to women. The GOP also has an age gap, a race gap, an education gap, and an income gap. So far, all of these gaps are getting worse under President Trump.

Originally published on The Resurgent