Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blogger Candidate Forum: Kentucky And Oregon Primary Wrap Up

Kentucky Primary
Hello Everyone:

it is another Wednesday and time for the weekly edition of the Blogger Candidate Forum.  The recent primaries in Indiana and Nebraska have made the rest of the cycle pretty much a foregone conclusion vis-a-vis the General Elections.  The party standard bearers in the Fall campaign, barring a major meltdown, will be Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton. However, despite the going-through-the-motions feel of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, there are still a few things we learned about the campaigns as they head into the final weeks.  Today, let us focus on the increasingly contentious Democratic race.

Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders
First of all, congratulations to both Madame Secretary and the Gentleman from Vermont on their victories in Kentucky (Madame Secretary) and Oregon (Sen. Sanders).  Secretary Clinton barely won Kentucky, netting 27 delegates to give her a total of 1,768.  When you factor in the 525 Superdelegates, Madame Secretary now has a total of 2,293 out 2,383 delegates needed to secure the nomination outright.  Senator Sanders also had a good night.  He cruised to victory in Oregon, gaining 34 delegates to give a total of 1,494.  Factoring in the 39 Superdelegates, Sen. Sanders now has a total of 1,533 out of 2,383.  (  With ten primary contests remaining on the schedule, there are 930 delegate still available.  The win in Oregon, was certainly a confidence boost for the Sanders Campaign and the Clinton Campaign also received a morale shot with the razor thin margin of victory; 46.8 percent to 46.3 percent (Ibid).  That is the numbers but what do we know.

Secretary Clinton at a campaign rally in Kentucky
The first thing we know is that Madame Secretary's hairline victory highlighted vulnerabilities in campaign that will make unifying the Blue team.  One glaring weak point is the over $6.7 million she earned as a paid speaker in 2015.  Mind you, it is not a crime to earn money as a paid speaker, unless you do not report it on your tax return.  Nevertheless, it does call into question her ability to connect with blue collar workers.  This is the point that the Sanders Campaign has been has been emphasizing at appearances.  You couple this with her self-confessed lack of personal campaigning skills, could spell trouble in the generals against presumptive Red team nominee Donald Trump.  Certainly, her comments about putting the coal companies "out of business" ( at CNN town hall meeting in Ohio came back to haunt her in West Virginia and may continue to stalk the campaign.  (Ibid)

Clinton Campaign rally
On the positive side, Tuesday ended on a happier note for Madame Secretary than the defeats in West Virginia and Indiana-states she beat then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008.  While the pundits will continue to parse over results, they did not recast the tenor of the race.  Essentially, Madame Secretary has such an overwhelming lead in the Superdelegate count (Superdelegates are party officials and legislators who are free to vote however they choose at the July convention; Ibid).  If the Gentleman from Vermont wants to snatch the nomination away from Madame Secretary, he would have to convince a large number of said delegates that she is too badly damaged a candidate to beat Mr. Trump-a daunting task.

Henry on Twitter @ABCPolitics @HillaryClinton
Secretary Hillary Clinton is fighting a two-front battle.  On one front is Senator Sanders and on the other front, Mr. Trump.  Needless to say, she needs the time and resources to unify her party to ensure a heavy blue team turnout in November.  This is a difficult task as long as Senator Sanders remains in the race, winning primaries, and gathering supporters.  While yours truly would never suggest that the Gentleman from Vermont abandon the race.  However, as the primary season winds down, the need to bring the Democrats together, under one banner.  Blogger is a little more optimistic about this happening than the unification of the red team.  One thing that is keeping this two-front war going is Mr. Trump seizing on complaints from the Sanders supporters's complaints about the system  being rigged against them.

Ugly scene from the Nevada State Democratic Convention
The ugly scenes, boomed across the media, from the previous weekend's Nevada State Democratic Convention expose the fault lines in the Democratic party.  This has forced Secretary Clinton to devote time to strengthening her forces against Senator Sanders in the remaining primaries, instead of taking on Mr. Trump in the swing states.  Donald Trump is not sitting back and quietly watching this struggle unfold.  That would be completely out of character for him.  More in character are the Twitter taunts about the closeness of the Kentucky, speculating that if she cannot seal the deal in Kentucky, she should concede the race and the system is rigged.  Donald Trump complaining about a rigged system is really disingenuous.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN that Secretary Clinton's razor thin win was a sign that Democrats

...are having second thoughts about Clinton.  The media is ready to call this race over, but I think voters in various states want to see this race go on.  (Ibid)

Nevada Democratic Party logo
The close race comes on the heels of the drama out of the Nevada State party convention, " which the divide among Democrats--overshadow for much of the primary season by the rollicking GOP contest--is increasingly apparent."  (Ibid)  The weekend gathering descended into chaos as Sanders and Clinton supporters traded insults and threats.  Tensions were not soothed by Senators Sanders's somewhat tepid statement that condemned the violent outbursts, insults, and threats, while continuing to blast away at party officials over their support of Madame Secretary.  This highlights another potentially major problem, a Sanders insurrection could upend the party convention in Philadelphia.

Democratic National Committee Convention 2016
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Secretary Hillary Clinton and her allies are anxious to pivot toward the Fall campaign.  Case in point, the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA has begun airing anti-Trump general election commercials today in the battleground states of Ohio, Nevada, Florida, and Virginia.

Yours truly would like to return to the subject of the chaotic Nevada State Democratic Convention for a moment.  The images coming out of the event were horrifying, to say the very least.  Even more horrifying were the reports of Roberta Lange, the state party chair, receiving threats via email and texts.  Blogger wonders, is this anyway to hold a civil political discourse?  Granted, politics can bring out passionate discussions but allowing the conversation to descend into chaos is not the way of humanity.  If there is valid evidence to suggest voter inconsistencies, then they should be thoroughly investigated.  Senator Bernie Sanders has definitely energized younger voters in ways like never before. Blogger is thrilled about seeing more people engage in the political process.  Nevertheless, insults and threats are not part of the process.  Yours truly believes that your voices deserve to be heard but not at the expense of drowning out those who disagree with you.  Blogger urges you to continue to bring your excitement and passion to the process but without the chaos.

One more thing: just a friendly reminder.  If you have not registered to vote, please consult your state's Secretary of State website for information.  You may have time to register for your state's upcoming primary election-JUNE 7 IN CALIFORNIA-if not, make sure you are registered to vote for the NOVEMBER 8 GENERAL ELECTION.

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