Politics News 

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Israeli elections and movement in Democratic primaries


With 90% of the vote counted:
-Gantz’s Kahol Lavan 32
-Netanyahu’s Likud 31
-The Joint List 13
-Yisrael Beiteinu 9
-Shas 9
-United Torah Judaism 8
-Yamina 7
-Labor-Gesher 6
-Democratic Union 5https://t.co/rKJ2enbn2J

— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) September 18, 2019


We won’t really know until tomorrow how many seats everyone has.

Then we have to see if Lieberman recommends Gantz or Unity and if Joint List says Gantz or None.

So still 1-4 days from knowing who will go first even

— (((Will Cubbison))) וויל קביסון (@wccubbison) September 18, 2019

Closer to home from NBC:

NBC/WSJ poll: Biden leads Dem 2020 field, Warren’s support grows

While Biden dominates among more moderate Democrats and black voters, Warren overperforms among whites and liberals.

The survey also shows that Warren has the advantage in enthusiasm, and that she gets the most second-choice support.

Biden leads the overall horse race with backing from 31 percent of Democratic primary voters (up 5 points since July), while Warren gets 25 percent (up 6 points).


NEW: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

– Biden: 31% (+5 since July)
– Warren: 25% (+6)
– Sanders: 14% (+1)
– Buttigieg: 7% (even)
– Harris: 5% (-8)
– Yang: 4% (+2)
– Klobuchar: 2% (+1)
– Booker: 2% (+1)

BUT only 9% say their minds are definitely made up.

— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) September 17, 2019


Don’t vote? The Trump campaign would like a word with you

In Michigan, which Trump carried by 11,000 votes, there is opportunity in places such as the GOP stronghold of Ottawa County west of Grand Rapids. As many as 50,000 eligible voters didn’t cast ballots in 2016, according to an Associated Press analysis of voter data, and Trump won the county by a 2-to-1 margin.

But if Trump’s strategy is to pay off, his allies have a lot more work to do. Between 2016 and 2018, Michigan counties that backed Trump in 2016 added more than 44,000 people who were eligible to vote, but voter registrations increased by just 622 people.

Trump can’t turn out all the eligible voters, and there’s no guarantee that those they do reach will vote for Trump. But the president’s team is betting that bringing more voters in will pack more of a punch than converting the ballot-going faithful.

So Trump is turnout, to hell with persuasion. But…


Here’s why the “let’s win without working-class whites” mentality doesn’t hold water for Dems. That demog comprises 45% of all eligible U.S. voters, but:

61% in Wisconsin
61% in New Hampshire
56% in Michigan
56% in Minnesota
56% in Pennsylvania
47% in North Carolina

Good luck.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 16, 2019


Dems’ path to beating Trump absolutely depends on retaining the gains they made in diverse, college-educated burbs – the kinds we saw in 2018 & #NC09.

But even a slight drop among white non-college voters could negate all of it, given the demog’s size & geographic distribution.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 16, 2019

Philip Bump/WaPo:

A central 2020 question for Democrats: How critical are working-class white voters?

If that’s the case, why bother trying to win over those working-class voters?

Wasserman’s point is that degree matters. In subsequent tweets, he notes that there’s a link between the states that Trump flipped in 2016 and the density of their working-class white populations.

We can visualize that pretty clearly. As the density of working-class whites among the over-18 population in a state increased, so did the margin by which it preferred Trump in 2016. It’s not a perfect correlation, but it’s a robust one.


This turned out to be the highlight of the hearing by far, but it came five hours in, after tv had turned away and stories been mostly written. I hope the committee members will set their egos aside and let counsel q’s kick off the hearing next time. https://t.co/LyYshP1hHC

— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 17, 2019

G Elliott Morris:

Could Donald Trump’s presidency be creating a generation of Democrats?
Plus, which 2020 Democrat is closest to the median voter? And will that matter?

Just like these memories stick with us, so too do the attitudes we are taught. And there is an entire group of young people whose first political memories, whose first attitudes, are about Donald Trump. And those attitudes will stick with them long after he’s gone. Given that the president is so unpopular, I reckon many of those attitudes will be negative.

“But Elliott”, you might be saying, “people’s political preferences change over time!” That’s rightly correct, but the aggregate effects of temporal political socialization persist. It’s not so much that people start out as liberal and grow to become conservatives, despite what Winston Churchill might have you believe (see below), but that an age group’s baseline political leanings are decided by the political events that occur while they grow up.

“If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” — Winston Churchill

This theory is substantiated by research from political scientists/statisticians Yair Ghitza and Andrew Gelman. In a 2014 paper titled “The Great Society, Reagan’s Revolution and Generations of Presidential Voting” the authors offer empirical evidence for the “running tally” theory of political socialization—that is, that people are introduced to political concepts over time, and “keep score” about their relative pro- or anti-Republican/Democratic views until they are “locked-in”. They also find that our youth years are a critical part of this “running tally” process:

“The political events surrounding the formative years around 14-24 are of paramount importance in structuring life-long presidential voting preferences [….] events Eem to have created five broad generations of voters — voters born in the 1930s or early (pro-Democrat); 1941 (Republican); 1952 (Democrat); 1968 (Republican); and the 1980s or later (Democrat).”


I said this earlier, but I think the most significant development in recent polling is that Warren, while still running far behind Biden, now clearly has a pulse with black voters.

— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) September 17, 2019

Alex Burns/NY Times:

Warren and Trump Speeches Lay Out Competing Visions of Populism

In New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren described a government compromised by the influence of the wealthy. President Trump, in New Mexico, denounced a “failed liberal establishment.”

The two back-to-back addresses laid out the competing versions of populism that could come to define the presidential campaign. From the right, there is the strain Mr. Trump brought to maturity in 2016, combining the longstanding grievances of the white working class with a newer, darker angst about immigration and cultural change. And on the left, there is a vastly different populist wave still gaining strength, defined in economic terms by Ms. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The messages underlined the possibility that the 2020 election could be the first in a generation to be fought without an ally of either party’s centrist establishment on the ballot. While it is by no means certain that Ms. Warren will emerge as the Democratic nominee, two of her party’s top three candidates — Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders — are trumpeting themes of economic inequality and promises of sweeping political and social reform.

Hey guys, I don’t think we’ll take KY (though there are good numbers in the Senate race)…

Tony Fabrizio is a GOP pollster who polled for Trump in 2016

…but NC, CO, MN and AZ are looking okay.


Farm bailout money likely to be included in stopgap spending bill amid pressure from moderate House Democrats

Democrats are likely to include legislation that would expedite payment of these funds as part of a must-pass spending bill as soon as this week.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

The provision in question would now ensure the continuation of a multibillion-dollar White House farm bailout program that was at risk of running short of money. The Washington Post reported last week that House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) was proposing to block the bailout program as she and other lawmakers worked to finalize a short-term spending bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown Oct. 1.

Lowey and other House Democratic leaders were trying to draft a “clean” spending bill to extend government funding through Nov. 21 without including many extraneous issues. However, a number of moderate House Democrats, including leaders of the Agriculture Committee, objected, urging that the spending bill include language safeguarding the farm bailout program, which was created last year after complaints from farm groups that Trump’s trade war with China was hurting farm country.

A reminder that the corrupt Brazilian Bolsinaro brothers (JBS), among other multinationals are thick in the middle of this, and not all the money goes to American farmers.


Trump is handing Democrats an opening on the economy
The trade war and uneven growth are giving Democrats a chance to attack.

Democrats hear growing frustration with Trump’s trade policies. While Americans largely agree with Trump that the United States needs to push China to be a better trading partner, only 35 percent of adults approve of Trump’s handling of trade negotiations with China, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll taken this month. Fifty-six percent of American adults disapprove.

“The president clearly has no strategy,” said Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., in the most recent Democratic presidential debate. “I’d like to see him making a deal with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping. Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April?”

Strategists say the more that Democrats can hold up trade as another example of Trump’s unpredictable — and economically harmful — behavior, the more their attacks will likely resonate.

Some support here for that, though it’s a single poll in limited states:


New poll by Priorities USA shows generic Dem with near double-digit lead over DT in battleground states hard hit by Trump economy. https://t.co/1b1WwUOmyu

— Mike Klonsky (@mikeklonsky) September 16, 2019

And now for something dumb:


Consider the priorities here.

Weakening of emissions standards is delayed. Staff is struggling to “prepare legal or scientific justifications for it.”

But WH will proceed with punishing CA for now.

Trump “wanted to press forward with a policy that would punish California.” https://t.co/Lgdkl4HbZF

— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) September 18, 2019

And now for something really dumb:


Why… just… why? Who thought it was a good idea to go after an LGBTQ Democratic Senator in a purple state? People have been so blinded by Trump. You know what? We talk a lot about Trumpism as a cult of ideology and not enough about anti-Trumpism as a (yes, lesser) cult.

— G. Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) September 18, 2019

Whatever happened to “don’t do stupid stuff”? This from the Hill:

Dan O’Neal, the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, told the news outlet that the censure is an effort to push Sinema back toward the left.

“Here’s the thing: We really support Kyrsten Sinema, we want her to succeed, we want her to be the best senator in the country,” O’Neal said. “But the way she is voting is really disappointing. We want Democrats to vote like Democrats and not Republicans.”

The progressive caucus of the state party outlined its reasoning in a resolution.

FiveThirtyEight’s Trump Tracker found that Sinema has opposed Trump during her time in the Senate 81 percent of the time. During her time in the House, where she served three terms, she supported Trump’s agenda 54% of the time.

Felecia Rotellini, the Arizona Democratic Party’s chairwoman, said the censure will be heard but is unsure it will pass.

“Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” ~ Casey Stengel


Corey Lewandowski’s grudging, impudent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee may have wound up bolstering Nancy Pelosi’s hands-off approach to impeachment. https://t.co/UowKpwRPEe

— Axios (@axios) September 18, 2019

Apparently not. Well, looking forward and not back:


Elizabeth Warren has become the most broadly-acceptable candidate in the Democratic field

70% of Democratic primary voters say they’re enthusiastic or comfortable with her, while 21% have reservations or are uncomfortable

Biden: 64%/35%

Bernie: 62%/37%https://t.co/yGkWEm1WUK

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 17, 2019

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