Weekly Musing 5-17-15
Friend ask: Why Ted Cruz?
I want to win. I think American voters are frustrated with the status quo and the Washington establishment. They want someone who will not only stand up to the liberal Democrats, but to their own party when they need to. Ted Cruz will stand on common sense, conservative principles.
I believe in the Promise of America. I want a candidate who not only points out the failures of the past, but has a vision of what makes America great and how we can get back to those ideals. Ted Cruz believes and is an optimistic warrior for liberty.
I want a consistent and courageous conservative. I think it is OK to stand on principle, do the right think, even when the mainstream media and Washington insiders try and belittle you. I can predict where Ted Cruz will be on most issues 99% of the time.
I want to grow our party in order to win. We need to get beyond the traditional, middle class white guy syndrome. I want a new generation of leader that can effectively reach out to new constituencies that have either abandoned our party, or worse yet, never joined. Ted Cruz brings home the base, expands our evangelical appeal, is a 40 something Hispanic/Latino of Cuban roots who’s common sense conservative message will appeal to Reagan Democrats we have lost.
I want someone I can be proud of. I’m tired of politics as usual. Too many believe American Exceptionalism is dead. We need someone who will to stand on principle, fight the fight, and not apologize for the “shining city on a hill”. Ted Cruz is a leader we can be proud of.
This is an uphill battle. Ted Cruz starts out as an underdog with a huge grassroots army that has never been tested in presidential politics before. He brings a coalition to the process that needs to join together for the greater good. A task few have accomplished, but with no one else prepared to carry that mantle. Ted Cruz is ready to lead…and I hope to do my part to help give him that greatest opportunity, responsibility and obligation bestowed on an American leader…the right to be called Mr. President!
Cruz Coming to Michigan!
Senator Ted Cruz will be speaking at the Livingston County Lincoln Day Dinner on Wednesday, June 3rd. A VIP Reception is scheduled for 5:30pm and dinner starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $60.00.
For more information check out their Facebook page at:
GOP: The Field Is Flat
The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is as flat as any in modern memory—pretty remarkable for a party that usually has a fight but almost invariably ends up nominating whoever’s turn it is. While nomination trial-heat polling tells us very little this early, there are some poll questions that are better measurements of at least where these candidates are starting out, before the campaigning, debates, and advertising begin in earnest.
An April 26 to April 30 NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll asked Republican primary voters whether they could or could not see themselves voting for each of 10 different potential candidates. Marco Rubio topped the list, with 74 percent saying they could see themselves supporting him. Second was Jeb Bush with 70 percent; Scott Walker was third with 61 percent; Rand Paul was fourth at 59 percent; Ted Cruz was fifth at 57 percent; and Mike Huckabee was sixth with 52 percent. So six candidates had more than half of GOP primary voters open to voting for them. (Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina rounded out the group with 45, 39, 38, and 17 percent, respectively.)
A CBS News / New York Times poll from April 30 to May 3 took a similar approach, asking whether the respondents would consider or not consider 14 different potential GOP candidates. Rubio led this list as well with 48 percent; Huckabee was second with 47 percent; Bush was third at 46 percent; Cruz had 40 percent; Perry had 39 percent; Paul had 35 percent; Carson had 33 percent; Walker had 32 percent; Rick Santorum and Chris Christie both had 27 percent; Bobby Jindal had 24 percent; John Kasich had 15 percent; Lindsey Graham had 12 percent; and Fiorina had 11 percent.
Tightening the focus a little more, a March Pew Research survey of Republican voters and GOP-leaning independents asked respondents whether there was a “good chance,” “some chance,” or “no chance” that they would vote for 10 different candidates. An astonishing seven different candidates had between 21 and 23 percent of respondents saying “good chance”: Bush, Rubio, and Walker tied for first place with 23 percent, Huckabee and Cruz were next with 22 percent, and Paul and Carson followed at 21 percent. That’s a very tight pack.
Expanding to those who had half or more of Republicans saying “good chance” or “some chance,” six potential candidates made the cut: Bush (64 percent), Huckabee (61 percent), Paul (57 percent), Rubio (55 percent), Cruz (54 percent), and Perry (53 percent).
What also becomes apparent from reading these surveys is that even the most scrupulously honest pollsters can get fairly different results based on exactly what question they ask and what group they are polling. Looking at Republicans only is one thing; including Republican-leaning independents can bring a very different result. This matters because, in some states, independents are allowed to vote in party primaries, and, in other states, they cannot. National polls have a hard time accounting for this discrepancy, particularly now that area codes don’t necessarily indicate where someone actually lives and votes.
Could the GOP Really See a Brokered Convention in 2016? “It is by far the most interesting presidential year since I’ve been involved [in Republican politics],” says Steve Munisteri, a senior adviser to Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.). How interesting? Top-tier presidential campaigns are preparing for the still-unlikely scenario that the nomination fight goes all the way to the 2016 Republican National Convention. There hasn’t been a brokered convention since 1976, but the strength of the GOP field, when coupled with the proliferation of super PACs, increases the chances that several candidates could show up in Cleveland next July with an army of delegates at their backs. “It’s certainly more likely now than it’s been in any prior election, going back to 1976,” Thor Hearn, the general counsel to George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, tells National Review. “I don’t put it as a high likelihood, but it’s a much more realistic probability than it’s been in any recent experience.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418345/could-gop-really-see-brokered-convention-2016-joel-gehrke
GOP poll: Clinton losing in battlegrounds
Hillary Clinton trails a generic Republican presidential candidate by double-digits among voters in six key battleground states, according to a new poll from the GOP firm Vox Populi.
The survey, conducted on behalf of the conservative super-PAC American Crossroads, found an unnamed GOP candidate taking 51 percent support among voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.
Clinton takes only 41 percent support among voters in those states, according to the poll.
The survey found Clinton’s favorability rating deep underwater, with 40 percent having a positive view of the former secretary of State against 53 percent who said they view her negatively.
In addition, 52 percent of voters in the battleground states said they don’t trust Clinton, and the same percentage said they don’t share her values.
Fifty-eight percent said they agree with the notion that Clinton will “say or do anything” to get elected president, while only 35 percent said they disagree.
Pollsters struggle to assess 19 GOP contenders
There are 19 Republicans seriously considering launching campaigns for president, and 10 numbers on a phone. That causes a big problem for pollsters using automated polling technology, one of the most common forms of public polling.
Thus, when GOP officials gather in Arizona this week to tackle the vexing question of how to decide which candidates are allowed to participate in party-sanctioned debates, they won’t be able to easily fall back on the most logical way to winnow the field: polling.
That only compounds the stresses on the Republican National Committee, which is determined to avoid the circus-like atmosphere of some of the party’s 2012 debates. Only one thing is clear, officials say: There’s no way the debates, which begin in Cleveland in August, can accommodate all of the nearly 20 candidates who have either announced their bids or are considering running.
“This is a vastly different scenario than has ever occurred before,” said RNC Communications Director and chief strategist Sean Spicer. “In the past, going as far back as ’76 or ’80, it’s always been about getting in the debate — what’s the threshold for getting in a debate? Now it’s about keeping people out.”
Breaking the Democrats’ Electoral College Blue Wall
Many savvy political analysts believe the Democrats have a built in advantage in the Electoral College. Democrats have won four of the last six Presidential elections, and in all six races, they have won a collection of 18 states plus the District of Columbia, now totaling 242 Electoral College votes. These states include all of the New England states except New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Democrats have won 5 of the last 6 Presidential contests in New Hampshire, Iowa, and New Mexico, three states with 15 Electoral College votes. Since 270 Electoral College votes are needed for victory, if history is a guide, Democrats start off with a collection of states that puts them very close to victory. The blue wall is not mythology.
Republicans also have some states where they have had a string of six straight victories, but there are only 13 of them with 102 electoral college votes: Alaska, Wyoming, Alabama, Kansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. This comparison of 242 versus 102, is not, however, a realistic look at the GOP’s current position. There are several southern or border states, and a few western states that have been reliably Republican in the last four cycles, but voted for Bill Clinton once or twice, including Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Montana, and West Virginia. Indiana strayed once for Obama in 2008, but otherwise has been won by Republicans in the other five most recent Presidential elections. North Carolina has also been won by Republicans in five of the last six elections, but has been decided by razor thin margins in the last two cycles — first for Obama in 2008, then for Romney in 2012. It would be foolish to consider North Carolina a safe part of the GOP base at this point. Without North Carolina, the GOP’s effective red wall is 23 states with 191 Electoral College votes. With North Carolina, the GOP is at 206, exactly where Romney finished.
It is apparent that a Republican will not win the White House without winning Florida, Ohio and Virginia. These three states would add 60 Electoral College votes, bringing the GOP to 266. In 2012, Obama won each of these states by narrow margins — Florida by 0.88%, Ohio by 2.98%, and Virginia by 3.88%, either below or matching his national margin of victory (3.86%). In essence, they are the next three targets moving up the ladder of difficulty for Republicans.
The problem for the Republicans in 2012 was that even had the popular vote been a tie, and the 3.86% Democratic national margin been eliminated with a margin shift of exactly 3.86% in each state, they would have won Florida and Ohio, but still lost Virginia and not won any other states. The Democrats’ victory margin in the next closest state won by them was Colorado, with a margin of 5.36%, Pennsylvania at 5.38%, New Hampshire at 5.58% and Iowa at 5.81%. In other words, Republicans would have had to have won the popular vote by over 1.5% to capture both Virginia and Colorado and win the Electoral College.
In reality, if the national margin becomes more favorable to Republicans by 5%, it does not mean that all states will move by 5%. Nate Silver has tracked this sensitivity or elasticity in individual states, and Pennsylvania, as an example is relatively insensitive. So a shift of say 5% in the national popular vote towards Republicans would likely not move the numbers that much in Pennsylvania. But they might move the numbers by more than 5% in New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado.
Putin has defended the Nazi-Soviet pact. Time for the west to wake up
Vladimir Putin has stated that there was nothing wrong with the Nazi-Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which was made 75 years ago on 23 August 1939. The Soviet Union simply did not want to go to war, Putin added.
Two tiny details seem to be ignored in this evaluation: the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact merely enslaved eastern Europe (by the Soviet Union, incidentally). Second, the pact led to the second world war. It was not an escape route by the Soviet Union, but instead a cold-blooded calculation to ignore Hitler’s growing appetite for territories.
Leaving history to historians, I would like to draw attention to the western responsibility here. We cannot let such statements go unnoticed because they are part of a bigger narrative, under which the Russian leadership now seeks endorsement for its aggressive and revisionist foreign policy.
Otherwise we, the western democracies, risk becoming part of a similar pact. Not by consciously entering into dirty deals with the aggressor, but by not doing enough to prevent it, and leaving the impression that anything is possible. True, the western response solidified recently, albeit a bit late. However, notions of the need to appease Russia are gaining speed.
The confidence with which Russia is acting now comes partly from our inability to stand by our values and principles. Russia applied similar tactics in the case of Georgia in 2008. We searched for ways to get back to normal quickly, hoping that “normal” was also the intention of the Russian regime. It turned out it was not. So unwillingly, we became part of their plan. History repeats itself now.
The Michigan Bucket List: 50 Things to Do Before You Die
So there you are sitting on your deathbed, your life flashing before your eyes, a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel, and as you move closer to that light, a figure begins to emerge, and you ask in a hopeful tone, “God? Is that you? Is this heaven?” But it’s not. Not at all. It’s us. Thrillist. And we’ve been sent to show you all the things you should have done in Michigan before you died.
So we give you this list, and send you back to earth where you wake up in a cold sweat, relieved to find it was all a dream… and yet… it seemed so real. You check your phone, and sure enough, there, in your browser, is THIS. VERY. LIST. Maybe you were reading it before you fell asleep, or maybe it wasn’t really a dream at all?! Either way, you’ll want to start knocking this list out…
NEW Facebook Page…
I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page. Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis
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