One of the weird things about the “blue states” is that some are mainly red. I’m from Washington State, where the populous and liberal Seattle metropolitan area dominates state politics. The three metropolitan Seattle counties constitute 52 percent of the state’s electorate and voted for Obama by 29 points, 63-34. But across the Cascade Mountains, eastern Washington—fully half of the state’s area—votes more like Idaho than the pro-Obama, pro-gay marriage, pro-marijuana western half of Washington.
Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are unprecedented. She holds more than 60 percent of the Democratic primary vote, a figure usually reserved for popular sitting vice presidents—even though these polls pit her against a sitting vice president. It’s tempting to wonder whether it’s even possible for her to lose the Democratic nomination. I asserted in a meeting two weeks ago that she has a 99 percent of locking up the nomination, although who knows the actual odds. But if her chances are close to that, her biggest challenge might just be surviving to November 2016.
Democrats are in danger of getting disappointed in Kentucky, where early poll numbers belie McConnell's big advantages. If people are really buying Wendy Davis and a "blue Texas," Democrats might be doubly disappointed. Where Democrats could end up pleasantly surprised is Georgia.
Last night, one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country went into effect in North Carolina. In reality, the law is a sort of “voter suppression” omnibus package, packed full of provisions that cannot be justified on voter-fraud grounds, including all-but-indefensible steps like banning counties from extending poll hours due to long lines. Obviously, Democrats are outraged about a transparent effort to make voting harder.
I hope Hillary enjoyed her time off; it looks like her campaign is underway. Last night, the former Secretary of State gave her first domestic policy speech since leaving State at the American Bar Association, where she criticized attacks on voting rights, including North Carolina’s voter suppression package. She also announced a series of upcoming policy addresses, including on the transparency of national security programs.
Texas Democrats are giddy over the possibility that demographic changes might turn the Lone Star State “blue,” but the numbers suggest Texas will lean “red” for a long time.
The numbers don’t support the hype.
Democrats have been dreaming of the day when demographic changes might turn Texas “blue,” but it seems like Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who filibustered an anti-abortion bill in June, is looking to speed up the time table.
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responded to a broadside from Rand Paul with a rant about 9-11 victims, it was easy to see similarities between the New Jersey Republican and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuilani. As The Atlantic Wire noted yesterday morning, they’re both tough-talkers, former prosecutors, and moderates from the New York area. They also, apparently, like talking about 9-11.
The last few weeks have been full of bad news for Senator Mitch McConnell. He earned a long awaited tea party challenger and, yesterday, two polls showed Allison Lundergan Grimes, the likely Democratic nominee, ahead by 1 and 2 points. As a result, Democrats are starting to believe they have a good chance in Kentucky. They shouldn’t get their hopes up. Certainly not yet.