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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Trump, Harassment, and Rape

Andrew Kaczynski reports at Buzzfeed:
Donald Trump, who repeatedly advocated for Mike Tyson during the boxer’s 1992 rape trial in Indiana, said on Monday that he knows nothing about it.
“Do you still think Mike Tyson got a raw deal when he endorsed you?” Trump was asked.
“I don’t know anything about it. I know he endorsed me. I heard he endorsed me,” Trump stated. “I don’t know anything about his trial. I really don’t.”
Trump, a longtime friend of Tyson, opined at length about the trial on television, in newspapers, and in magazines.

Alana Horowitz Satlin writes at The Huffington Post:
Donald Trump continued his apparent push to alienate all women voters by comparing the U.S.’s relationship with China to rape.
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said at a rally Sunday. “It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
The “rape” he was referring was the trade deficit between the two countries, not an actual act of sexual assault. Advocates against sexual violence sharply criticized the Republican presidential front-runner’s comments.
“Using the word ‘rape’ to describe anything other than sexual violence trivializes the experience of survivors,” added Colleen Daly, a spokeswoman for the group End Rape on Campus. “The statement perpetuates our cultural indifference to rape and desensitizes us to all forms of sexual violence.”
Trump has spoken flippantly about rape before. After past allegations that Trump assaulted ex-wife Ivana resurfaced last year, his lawyer claimed that “you cannot rape your spouse.” In reality, over half of all women who report being raped identify their partner as the attacker, data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows. 
Mark Hensch reports at The Hill:
A Democrat in Arkansas’s Senate race on Monday released a campaign ad documenting some of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s comments about women. 
 “Donald Trump has repeatedly spouted offensive comments denigrating women,” Conner Eldridge said in a statement. "This has to be called out for what it is: serial harassment.
 “I’ve prosecuted domestic violence and cases in which criminals have harassed and abused women in horrible ways, including verbally,” continued Eldridge, a former U.S. attorney. “A senator should strongly condemn these comments. Instead, Sen. [John] Boozman [R-Ark.] is an enabler of Donald Trump’s reprehensible behavior.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gary Johnson

Libertarian Gary Johnson won't be our next president.  He won't even carry any states.  But if Trump is the GOP nominee, he will probably win enough #NeverTrump conservative votes to register as more than an asterisk.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

HRC to the Left

Max Ehrenfreund writes at The Washington Post:
Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign is letting hundreds of staffers go this week, all but conceding the Democratic primary race to Hillary Clinton, and raising the question of whether she will change her electoral strategy now that she is effectively running unopposed.
In the course of fending off Sanders's challenge, Clinton appears to have conceded to him on a couple of major economic policy issues. The former U.S. senator and secretary of state has abandoned the centrist positions she previously held on trade and Social Security and taken stances closer to Sanders's views.
Once presidential candidates have beaten out other primary contenders, they sometimes shift their positions and rhetoric to appeal to voters outside the party. On the other hand, there's some reason to think that Clinton might not revert to her previous positions on economic issues in the general election. Sanders wasn't the only force pushing her to the left.
Democrats, in general, have become much more willing to embrace liberal policies over the past couple of decades. One clear indicator of this trend is the steady increase in the number of Democrats who describe themselves as liberal -- and who became the largest group within the party for the first time last year, according to the Pew Research Center.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Upstairs, Downstairs, Democrats, and Data

Thomas Edsall writes at The New York Times about the changing economic makeup of the Democratic Party and the tension between its upstairs and downstairs.
At the same time that lifestyle and consumption habits of the affluent diverge from those of the middle and working class, wealthy voters are becoming increasingly Democratic, often motivated by their culturally liberal views. A comparison of exit poll data from 1984 and 1988 to data from the 2008 and 2012 elections reveals the changing partisan makeup of the top quintile.
In the 1980s, voters in the top ranks of the income ladder lined up in favor of Republican presidential candidates by 2-1. In 1988, for example, George H.W. Bush crushed Michael Dukakis among voters making $100,000 or more by an impressive 34 points, 67-33.
Move forward to 2008 and 2012. In 2008, voters from families making $100,000 to $200,000 split their votes 51-48 in favor of John McCain, while those making in excess of $200,000 cast a slight 52-46 majority for Barack Obama
In his first term, Obama raised taxes on the rich and criticized excessive C.E.O. pay. As a result, he lost ground among the well-to-do, but still performed far better than earlier Democrats had done, losing among voters making $100,000 or more by nine points, 45-54.
The “truly advantaged” wing of the Democratic Party — a phrase coined in this newspaper by Robert Sampson, a sociologist at Harvard — has provided the Democratic Party with crucial margins of victory where its candidates have prevailed. These upscale Democrats have helped fill the gap left by the departure of white working class voters to the Republican Party.

At the same time, the priorities of the truly advantaged wing — voters with annual incomes in the top quintile, who now make up an estimated 26 percent of the Democratic general election vote — are focused on social and environmental issues: the protection and advancement of women’s rights, reproductive rights, gay and transgender rights and climate change, and less on redistributive economic issues.
Bernie Sanders has tried to capitalize on this built-in tension within the Democratic primary electorate, but Hillary Clinton has so far been able to skate over intraparty conflicts. In the New York primary, for example, she did better among voters making $100,000 or more than among the less affluent, while simultaneously carrying African-Americans and moderate Democrats of all races by decisive margins.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Remarks at Alumni Weekend

Trumping Politics:  The Elections of 2016

Why are outsiders doing so well this year?


GOP Nomination Polls and the delegate count

Democratic Nomination Polls and the delegate count

California Primary

Out of Sample

Sanders Spending

Peter Overby writes at NPR:
With Bernie Sanders lopping hundreds of staffers from his campaign this week, it's easy to forget he has outraised and outspent Hillary Clinton every month this year. And not by just a little.
Sanders described his campaign as the "underdog" early on, but it certainly hasn't been the case the past three months. Federal Election Commission reports for January, February and March of 2016 show Sanders outspending Clinton by more than 50 percent, $121.6 million to $80.2 million.
We know where those additional Bernie dollars came from: legions of small donors. The Campaign Finance Institute calculated that in February, the Sanders campaign raised 56 percent of his money from donors contributing $200 or less and 12 percent from donors giving 1,000 or more. Corresponding numbers for Clinton are 21 and 64 percent.