Electomatic Political News

Gossiping The Elections, The Policians & The Electorates

The democrats have reached Super Tuesday 2016. The battle for delegates will be fierce between establishment front-runner Hillary Clinton and revolutionary left-wing socialist Bernie Sanders. Democratic super Tuesday will be a nail biter. Hillary Clinton can effectively end the race with a resounding victory or Bernie Sanders may become the latest comeback kid with a strong showing spelling a long democratic primary season still ahead.

For explanations of delegate math, primary and caucus types and the like – have a look at our Republican Super Tuesday feature. It has all the details. Today, we will get straight on with the primaries, caucuses and the candidates for the democrats! Unlike the republican primaries and caucuses, the democrats generally use proportional awarding of delegates – meaning say a 60% victory in a state gives you around 60% of the delegates. As such, victory margins are more important in the Democratic primaries than in most Republican ones.

Democratic Super Tuesday

The Democratic Primary states on super tuesday 2016 are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. There will be democratic caucuses in American Samoa, Colorado and Minnesota – check here for the latest primary opinion polls for Super Tuesday and beyond.

Combined Hillary has a big lead. The Super Delegates are heavily in her favor. But they can be swayed. To do so Bernie Sanders needs a commanding Super Tuesday. He might be happy to stay in the race to spread the socialist word, but if he is to be the nominee, the democratic super tuesday is his last chance for a comeback. He will win Vermont. He needs several more. Can Hillary fight him off? The polls says she can. But they have been wrong before.

The delegates and the states at stake:

Alabama Democratic Primary
53 delegates in an open primary.
Alabama Superdelegates: 7 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 3, Sanders 0

American Samoa Caucus
6 delegates in a closed caucus.
American Samoa Superdelegates: 5 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 4, Sanders 1

Arkansas Democratic Primary
32 delegates in an open primary.
Arkansas Superdelegates: 5 – Currently Clinton 5, Sanders 0

Colorado Caucus
66 delegates in a closed caucus.
Colorado Superdelegates: 13 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 10, Sanders 0

Georgia Democratic Primary
102 delegates in an open primary.
Georgia Superdelegates: 15 – Currently Clinton 11, Sanders 0

Massachusetts Democratic Primary
91 delegates in an semi-closed primary.
Massachusetts Superdelegates: 25 – Currently Clinton 17, Sanders 1

Minnesota Caucus
77 delegates in a open caucus.
Minnesota Superdelegates: 16 – Currently Pledged: Clinton 11, Sanders 1

Oklahoma Democratic Primary
38 delegates in an semi-closed primary.
Oklahoma Superdelegates: 4 – Currently Clinton 1, Sanders 1

Tennessee Democratic Primary
67 delegates in an open primary.
Tennessee Superdelegates: 9 – Currently Clinton 6, Sanders 0

Texas Democratic Primary
222 delegates in an open primary.
Texas Superdelegates: 29 – Currently Clinton 17, Sanders 0

Vermont Democratic Primary
16 delegates in an open primary.
Tennessee Superdelegates: 10 – Currently Clinton 4, Sanders 2

Virginia Democratic Primary
95 delegates in an open primary.
Virginia Superdelegates: 14 – Currently Clinton 11, Sanders 0

The Democratic Candidates

Only two candidates are left in the democratic race. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As things stand all doubt about the eventual nominee could be wiped out on SEC Tuesday. Basically, the Nevada and South Carolina victories for Hillary Clinton has given her a momentum that if carried will give her a commanding lead after tuesday making further efforts from Bernie Sanders fruitless in terms of winning.

On the other hand, the democratic super tuesday is the perfect time for a resounding comeback from Bernie Sanders. If it is to happen. Several northern states are in play, including his home state Vermont. This is where he needs to show magnificent strength and then pull an upset or two. Then he is back in the running.

Democratic Super Tuesday is upon us. Who needs to win where? Is Bernie still in the running? Can Hillary do a clean sweep? Read our predictions below. The republicans might be louder. But the Democrats still have an interesting race. Follow it right here.

Need to win states: Make or break states for the candidate. Losing here is potentially campaign ending.
Should win states: States the candidate should win to be on track for the nomination according to their strengths and strategies
Favored to win states: States the candidate ought to win based on opinion polling and demographics
Might win states: States the candidate might grab on a good day
Look out for: The little important bits to keep an eye out for.

Hillary Clinton

Need to win states: Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas
Should win states: Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, Samoa
Favored to win states: All of them – except Vermont
Might win states:
Look out for: Basically Hillary Clinton is competitive everywhere except Vermont. Keep an eye on her numbers with blue collar Democrats, white males. She needs to do a clean sweep of the South. The more she grabs in the North, the shorter the race will be (Bernie Sanders might well stay in the race even if he is beaten badly, but the race for the win will be over. He will be staying to get his message out).

Hillary Clinton Campaign

Hillary Clinton Campaign By Gage Skidmore

Bernie Sanders

Need to win states: Vermont
Should win states: For a northern path to victory to work he should win Massachuchetts, Minnesota and be competitive in several other places like Colorado, Oklahoma and Virginia.
Favored to win states: Vermont
Might win states: On a good day Sanders picks up Oklahoma, Colorado, Massachuchetts, Minnesota and maybe even Georgia. Such a miraculous day would require serious momentum though. It isnt on the cards.
Look out for: Super Tuesday is decisive for the future of the Sanders campaign. Is he running to win or running to get his message out. He needs to beat all expectations to continue a run for the win. Otherwise, he can choose to drop out. Or stay to grab the podium. Look out for his performance in his favored Northern States. Check if he has finally broken into the black american voter segment – though, after his trashing in South Carolina that seems unlikely.

Bernie Sanders Campaign

Bernie Sanders Campaign By Bart Everson

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Republican Super Tuesday Guide. Super tuesday is coming up. See what shape each of the remaining candidates for the nominations at the republicans are in before what might be an decisive date of voting across America. The participating states in SEC Tuesday include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucuses), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia with Republican caucuses being held in Alaska and Wyoming.

See the guide to Democratic Super Tuesday 2016 right here.

Republican Super Tuesday Preview

The republican candidates enter super tuesday with caucus nights in Alaska, Wyoming and Minnesota. Primaries are held in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

5 candidates are left competing for the delegates across the super tuesday states. The SEC Tuesday, Super tuesday schedule and delegates in play for the republican primary race:

Alabama Primary
Open primary with 50 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Alaska Caucus
Closed caucus with 28 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 13%

Arkansas Primary
Open primary with 40 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 15%

Colorado Caucus
Closed Causus with 37 at stake. No Threshold.

Georgia Primary
Semi-open primary with 76 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Massachusetts Primary
Semi-open primary with 42 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 5%

Minnesota Caucus
Open caucus with 38 at stake in a proportional system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 10%

North Dakota Caucus
Closed caucus with 28 at stake. No Threshold

Oklahoma Primary
Closed primary with 43 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 15%

Tennessee Primary
Open primary with 58 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Texas Primary
Open primary with 155 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Vermont Primary
Open primary with 16 at stake in a winner take most system. Threshold for getting awarded any delegates is 20%

Virginia Primary
Open primary with 49 at stake in a proportional system. No Threshold

Wyoming Caucus
Closed caucus with 29 at stake. No Threshold

  • Open or closed refers to who can vote. In an open primary or caucus anyone can turn up and register to vote. A semi-open caucus or primary has some restrictions whilst a closed primary or caucus requires previous party registration. The specific rules vary from state to state, if you are considering going to vote we advice you to visit the website of your local party to check the rules.
  • Primary vs caucus refers to the way of voting. In a primary you vote the same way you would in a general election. A caucus is a nomination meeting – the exact method varies from state to state, but generally you spend a few hours standing with your preferred candidate, getting counted and he who has most people in his corner wins.
  • Winner take all, winner take most and proportional. Winner take all is simple, the candidate with the most votes wins all delegates. A winner take all is either awarded for the entire state or per congressional district. Winner take most gives the vast majority of delegates to the winner but awards a few delegates to the runners up proportionally. In a propertional system the candidates are awarded approximately the % of delegates that equates their % of the vote (ie in a state with 100 delegates a candidate wins 40% of the vote – if its winner take all he gets 100 delegates, if it is winner take most he might get 80 and if its proportional he gets 40 …in simplified terms
  • Threshold. Many states have a threshold for awarding delegates. If the threshold is say 20% the candidate is only awarded any delegates if he obtains at least 20% of the vote. Ie, even in a state with proportional awarding of delegates but a threshold of 20% a candidate getting 15% of the vote would still not get any delegates.

The Republican Candidates

After the departure of prolific candidates such as Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie only 5 candidates are left in the race for becoming the Republican nominee for president 2016. The current frontrunner is obviously Donald Trump with 3 victories in the bag prior to the Super Tuesday spectacle. Runners up are Marco Rubio the establishments choice and far right conservative winner of the Iowa caucus Ted Cruz from Texas. Also running we have doctor Ben Carson and moderate northerner John Kasich.

In the run-up to the primaries CNN held a big debate night for the 5 republican candidates, which was one of the more bizarre events in American political history. It basically ended up in a shouting match between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. For the first time Donald Trump was in the firing line for his business dealings, Republican credentials and non-political correct ways. How the voters reacted to the debacle remains to be seen. A post-poll showed Donald Trump the winner of the debate among voters, whilst commentators and pundits claimed victory for an aggressive Marco Rubio. Since the debate the shouting matches have continued regarding tax returns, Trump University, alleged Marco Rubio credit card fraud and many other topics loosely related to the race and the substance.

Lets have a look at the perspective for each candidate during super tuesday.

Need to win states: Make or break states for the candidate. Losing here is potentially campaign ending.
Should win states: States the candidate should win to be on track for the nomination according to their strengths and strategies
Favored to win states: States the candidate ought to win based on opinion polling and demographics
Might win states: States the candidate might grab on a good day
Look out for: The little important bits to keep an eye out for.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump walks into super tuesday as the clear favorite more or less across the board. The billionaire is self funding his campaign. Running against all common rules of politics. And so far the voters have favored him for it.

Need to win states: Trump doesnt have specific need to win states. To Trump it is about volume. He needs to win the majority of states. Which ones he wins is less important. 10 or 11 wins will be a super night. Below 8 wins will be a fiasco spelling future trouble.
Should win states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska and Wyoming
Favored to win states: All of them except Texas
Might win states: Texas
Look out for: The number of wins. Trumps performance in Texas, if he wins he has effectively eliminated Ted Cruz from the race. If on the other hand he loses other southern states to Cruz the race is bound to tighten. If he loses to Rubio anywhere it will be declared a victory for Rubio. If Kasich does well in the north or midwest relative to Trump he might be on track to win Ohio and stay in the race.

Donald Trump Campaign

Donald Trump Campaign By Gage Skidmore

Marco Rubio

The junior senator from Florida is the establishments clear choice for nominee. He has seen a great influx of donor and endorsements. He had a strong and aggresive debate performance. Is it enough? Well. Rubio is not favored for any wins on Super Tuesday. But he badly needs one. He needs to end the “unable to win anywhere” narrative. He needs to feed the hope in his campaign. But it is difficult to find the optimal target.

Need to win states: None specifically. But he really needs a win. Apart from that he needs to beat Ted Cruz for second more or less everywhere that isnt Texas.
Should win states: Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia. It sounds tough. But an establishment candidate with a path to victory should pull out wins in states like these. Or at least come very close.
Favored to win states: None
Might win states: Oklahoma
Look out for: Does he finally get his first win? How does he do compared to Ted Cruz. Does he rally the moderate Republicans behind him? Does he come close in places like Oklahoma or indeed anywhere.

Marco Rubio Campaign

Marco Rubio Campaign By Artaxerxes

Ted Cruz

The consistent conservative with the TrusTed campaign slogan Ted Cruz is in a fairly desperate situation. In pure numbers he is a clear second in the race. But his path to victory is very hard to see. His problem is Donald Trump eating into the evangelical and very conservative vote. On a level that steals the southern victories he should be bagging.

Need to win states: Texas. If he does not win Texas he is likely to withdraw from the race.
Should win states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Alaska
Favored to win states: Texas
Might win states: Basically none, but he ought to be doing better than his polling in places like Alabama and Georgia
Look out for: Texas is make a break. Apart from that look at the evangelical vote – he needs to fight off Trump in that segment. Further, he needs to outdo Marco Rubio for second. He further needs to show strength in the south.

Ted Cruz Campaign

Ted Cruz Campaign by Gage Skidmore

Ben Carson

The doctor had his hayday in the polls many months ago. He has not been in the top 3 anywhere. He is not polling in the top 3 anywhere. He has no path to victory. Carson may have his reasons for staying in the reason. The strongly religious man might be hoping for a miracle. He needs one.

Need to win states: None. He does not seem to compete to win.
Should win states: None.
Favored to win states: None.
Might win states: None.
Look out for: Carsons biggest influence on the race is what he steals from others. Does he grab evangelicals from Cruz? Does he cut into Rubios strongholds? Does he drop out?

Dr Ben Carson Campaign

Dr Ben Carson Campaign By Gage Skidmore

John Kasich

Need to win states: None. Kasich is playing for an Ohio win later on.
Should win states: The northern states with more moderate Republican voters. Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia should probably be wins if he was on path to the nomination.
Favored to win states: None.
Might win states: If he is to bag a win anywhere it would have to be Massachusetts.
Look out for: How does he do in moderate states. Does he get any second places. Can he pull an upset? Does he drop out?

John Kasich Campaign

John Kasich Campaign By Marc Nozell

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Danish politics are kind of nice. The rest of the world struggles with civil wars, drugs, social decay and corruption. In Denmark they argue over cow poo. As we discussed previously in The Danish Cow Poo Gate the minister may or may not have misinformed the Danish parliament about the amount of cow poo being allowed to be led into the environment next year. Which led the small Conservative Party to declare mistrust in the minister of the environment Eva Kjer Hansen.

The Danish government left by Venstre (a centre-right party labelling themselves liberals) bases its rule on the mandates of the conservative party and as such the mistrust declared in the minister could spell early elections.

Days of crisis. Days of negotiations. Days of debates about cow poo in Denmark. It all seems resolved now with the departure of the minister Eva Kjer Hansen, who chose to resign today after heavy pressure from all sides. Søren Pape Poulsen. Leader of The Conservative Party Denmark may have gotten a victory however, but he has also destabilized the government and poisoned the working relationship between the government and its right wing backers. We might still see early elections called in Denmark.

Søren Pape Poulsen. Leader of The Conservative Party Denmark

Søren Pape Poulsen. Leader of The Conservative Party Denmark. By Lars Schmidt

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Political Message Over Money ?

For years we have debated the influence of money in politics. We have looked at wealthy businessmen and lobbyists buying elections. Studied how TV commercials flooded living rooms and turned the polls around. In America the Super-PACs came storming onto the scene after an election funding reform with more or less unlimited funds for establishment backed candidates.

Basically. We have spent our time following the money. Complaining about the money. And we might have been wrong all along. Suddenly the common knowledge that money buys victories does not seem so common sense anymore. Let us take a few examples.

Syriza won by a landslide in Greece without a euro in the bank to campaign for. The newly started left wing party Podemos in Spain didn’t have a dime but stormed into parliament in the top3. In England the far right populists UKIP scored the highest % of voters for a third party in a long while with largely no money spent. In Sweden the Swedish Democrats have gone from nothing to polling at 28% without any noticeable funding … and for that matter, Jeb Bush outspent Donald Trump many many times in the Republican primaries for the presidential election 2016.

podemos-spain-political-party

The Rise Of The Political Message !

We have debate the art of the political message. However. Our normal underlying logic would be that either the campaign messaging was tailored to where the voters already were and then boosted by spending millions on spreading the word. Or alternatively, the message was firm and millions was spent on swaying the voters to come around to it.

So why oh why are campaigns able to deliver astounding landslide victories without any funding at all?

One way of looking at it could be that diversified mass media, social networking, citizen journalism and many other such phenomenons have actually helped make the democratic processes more accessible. We are increasingly seeing movements growing out of nothing on social networks to dominate an issue, a debate or even an election. Barack Obama was obviously one example of such a movement (though he did raise plenty of funds later on, though not primarily from the usual big donor sources). The art of internet campaigning is kind of already old news though. We used to debate how to make things go viral, how to get interaction with fans and how to accumulate likes.

Thats all good, but now it is all about catching the signals coming from the souls of the people and filtering into the spiderweb of social channels – and then sending the right signals back in a diverse a way as possible. Does it sound loopy? It is quite simple to see and outrageously difficult to do. But if you look at the reason Jeb Bush failed and Donald Trump succeeded – it wasn’t the money, it wasn’t political backing, it wasn’t that one was outside the range of the voters he aspired to get support from (well if one was, it certainly was not Jeb), it wasn’t that they weren’t both active on social media.

No, it was the almost intuitive ability to catch signals and shoot them back at the voters to create a symbiosis. In the case of Donald Trump it might in fact have been a lucky punch – but he played it to perfection nonetheless. He caught the signal, turned it into political messaging and filtered it back. Jeb in contrast tailored a message he figured would resonate well with voters, he replaced Bush with ! and put together a package of traditional republican policies and then fed it all into a 100million dollar advertising campaign. And got nothing.

Donald Trump Caricature

Social Signals in Politics

You might argue Barack Obama, Syriza, Podemos, Donald Trump and many such movement phenomenons in politics have a lot in common. They either carry forward a feeling already widespread enough to launch the wave or they respond to the social signals they pick up and exploit them to ride a wave already pending. Either way. Expect more of this as media narratives splinter, our engagement on and offline diversify further and common discourse becomes harder to come by.

The internet campaign has been running for a decade and it wont stop. But look for your answers in the signals!

Syriza Greece Farleft Party

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Cow Poo Gate – Crisis In Denmark

In one of the more bizarre pieces of political news it seems the Danish government might fall. Over an argument about cow poo! Specifically the minister of farming Eva Kjer has been caught out by state media in Denmark putting forward proposals from special interest lobbyists in the farming sector in relation to the spread of cow poo and cutting of weeds in streams.

One would think this was a rather minor case of a minister being a bit too friendly with the lobbyists within her area of authority. However. The case have seemingly exploded into a proper cow poo gate that might end in the fall of the primeminister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and his minority government. The current government is supported by the far-right Danish Peoples Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives. In this case it is the conservatives causing trouble for the government. The conservatives demand the departure of the minister of farming Eva Kjer, despite supporting the proposals she has put forward, as they feel she has mislead them in relation to how much cow poo can be spread on fields in the coming 3 years.

Eva Kjer Hansen - Minister of Farming Denmark

By Mogens Engelund

So, is the Danish government going to fall in cow poo gate ? The most likely answer is still no! The primeministers party is looking at losing power to the leftwing led by the Socialdemocrats if he call an election. Further, the previous election was held only a few months ago and it will be a severely difficult task to explain to Danish voters that cow poo is important enough to bother them again already.

We will keep you posted on the bizarre happenings in the land of Hamlet, HC Andersen and the minister of poo.

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Unstoppable Trump ?

The results from the Nevada republican caucus are in and Donald Trump took it in a landslide.

Currently the count is:
Donald Trump 45%
Marco Rubio 24%
Ted Cruz 21%1,
Ben Carson 6%
John Kasich 4%

These are the numbers with only 14% counted but victory has long since been declared for Donald Trump. Ted Cruz yet again has declared himself victorious after a rather disappointing display. His argument is that Marco Rubio still hasnt had a win and should have done so in his Nevada firewall. This, however, is getting old. The argument is stretched too thin. Third place again without victory anywhere but Texas in sight. Basically Ted Cruz looks finished.

Can Donald Trump be Stopped?

Yes! Donald Trump can be stopped. He still might have a ceiling too low to win a one on one contest against an establishment candidate. He might still finally do something that outrages his supporters sufficiently to make them look elsewhere. Some external event still might switch the focus, priorities and ultimate choice of candidate.

But. We are approaching Miguel Indurains black cat territory. The legendary Spanish Tour De France winner always argued that victory could be snatched from him at every turn of the road by a crossing black cat. However, the black cat never came. Indurain kept winning. And by all accounts so will Trump.

It is fully possible that Ted Cruz will carry the Texas primary. He should. It is his home state and base for his entire operation. It is equally possible that an upset happens here or there. But overall, everything points to Donald Trump having a cruising time past super tuesday. He is building a commanding lead in delegates. He is polling impressively across the board in upcoming primaries. He keeps ruling the media cycles. He seems unstoppable!

donald-trump-rally

Rubio or Cruz ?

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are still battling to be the alternative to Donald Trump. But, as we debated in the past they are more or less already too late to settle that score – Rubio and Cruz should have united prior to letting Donald Trump run away with the momentum, delegates, attention and winning narrative!

But still. Ted Cruz is not gonna bow down to Marco Rubio, though Cruz has the hardest path to victory. Instead, he is spoiling for a fight. Marco Rubio isnt going anywhere either. He is consolidating establishment support, donors and endorsements. But. Neither of these two look like they have anything up their sleeves which might rattle the Donald. Even if Kasich and Carson drop out they are unlikely to pick up enough steam to be competitive.

Super tuesday might well be the end of the line for anyone hoping to stop Donald Trump!

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Brexit coming ? A referendum is coming up in the UK on the future membership of the EU. As described the other day primeminister David Cameron returned to a public shaming after he failed to secure special terms for Britain at negotiations in Bruxelles. However, it was equally assumed that the meager results could be sold as some kind of victory and thus used as the basis for a STAY campaign.

The STAY campaign was predicted a certain winner. Due to unlimited funds, media support, establishment support etc. But already now I have to flip flop. The STAY victory suddenly got a lot more shaky and uncertain as mayor of London Boris Johnson announced his intention to campaign for a LEAVE vote. With Boris Johnson fighting as a prominent figure in the Brexit ranks the result is simply unpredictable.

Boris Johnson Brexit

By johnhemming

The Boris Johnson Difference

The LEAVE campaign was mired by squabbles and division. Charismatic but divisive figure Nigel Farage seemed to be the natural but to many mainstream voters unacceptable natural leader of the movement. And Farage certainly has the power to pull in his special segment of voters, but as seen in the general elections he stirs up as much animosity as he does praise. As such, he was always a bad choice to lead a campaign that needs to win a national majority.

Several Tories were obviously pro Brexit too all along. A few businessmen as well. But Boris Johnson is a potential game changer in the race. Not only is Boris Johnson the most prominent name that could possibly join the brexit campaign, being the favorite next leader of the Conservative party. He is a legitimizing face. He makes it ok for even high ranking tories, business people and voters to side openly with the LEAVE side.

Plenty of voters and second tier politicians would not want be identified with a movement led by Nigel Farage or a similarly divisive face. Boris Johnson on the other hand is liked across the political spectrum. The legendary Boris Johnson buffoonerey, being locked out by his wife after cheating on her – live on tv – and having to walk off down the street from his house, for instance. It sounds silly. But it makes him a sort of likeable harmless household name and even leftwingers will go “Oh I dislike the Tories, but this is Boris

Boris is a game changer! Is it enough to win for the LEAVE campaign ? I still doubt it. But the odds have certainly changed from 80-20 for the STAY vote to something much tighter!

 

Boris Johnson Satire - Mayor of London

By Dominique

Brexit Coming ?

Still. A brexit is not likely. The LEAVE campaign is up against formiddable forces. But with the entry of Boris Johnson defeat is no longer a given. And of course. Boris Johnson just made himself an even likelier next Tory leader. In or Out? Give your opinion!

Obviously. David Cameron could have done without another humiliation this week. After the fiasco in Bruxelles he must have hoped for a united conservative party at least backing him. Instead. He lost 6 cabinet members. And the next leader to be: Boris Johnson !

Brexit is closer today. But it is still a long shot. The odds may have changed. But the STAY vote is heavily favored. But if Boris Johnson puts his future career on the line for leaving, it might just happen. Exciting months to come.

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The South Carolina primary is in the rear view mirror for the republican candidates for president 2016. However, Jeb Bush took the bus(h) straight home after another disappointing result.

Basically, as we discussed prior to the primary the South Carolina republican primary was make or break for Jeb Bush – and he broke! After a ferocious campaign effort by Jeb Bush splashing out million of dollars on advertising, wheeling out his big brother George W Bush and even his mother all failed to pay off. Jeb Bush badly needed to at least tie up with Marco Rubio to have a way forward as the establishment candidate. Instead, Marco Rubio surged to an impressive 22% of the vote and a second place ahead of Ted Cruz – whilst Jeb Bush only just squeezed home a distant 4th place with 8%. Slightly ahead of John Kasich and Ben Carson.

Thus, Jeb Bush graciously suspended his campaign. Thanked his supporters. Went home. And turned the lights out for the Bush dynasty that has dominated American politics for decades.

Republican Primary Satire

Republican Primary Satire – Clown Car Parade

Republican Primary Satire - Clown Car Parade

Photo By DonkeyHotey -Republican Primary Satire – Clown Car Parade

They started out with a colorful lineup of 17 hopeful Republican candidates for presidents. Since then all but 5 have dropped out. Donald Trump leads the race followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubi – with John Kasich and Ben Carson still in but hoping desperately for traction.

Welcome President Trump ?

Hillary Clinton looks like the democratic nominee to be. Bernie Sanders has gotten some traction with his far-left message, enthusiast youth supporting him and a fairly positive media coverage of his campaign. However, the Sanders numbers do not add up. He can stay in the race to get his message out, but it is basically more than difficult to see a path to victory for him. His base is too narrow. The states he has a chance of winning to few.

So, right now it is looking like Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton in the general election. However. Donald Trump is far from a certain winner of the primaries yet. As the field of candidates narrow he needs to pick up support from those dropping out – and he is not first in line for it. Fivethirtyeight had an analysis showing him doing extremely poorly as second choice – meaning, he is less likely to pick up the majority of say the now homeless Jeb Bush voters, whereas Marco Rubio is in a better position to do so and thus closing the gap to Trump.

Much depends on Ted Cruz. He is very unlikely to actually win the nomination. He has a solid core of support among very conservative voters, evangelicals and so forth. But Trump eats into his base. And it is too narrow to begin with. But Ted Cruz is unlikely to drop out anytime soon – and when he does, where do his voters go ?

For now its all unknown. But a first clue will be found in the next contests. Does Rubio add approximately the volume of Jeb Bush´ to his column or are they going somewhere else? Does John Kasich gain traction or is he about to drop out too? Does Donald Trump break the 40% barrier ?

Time will tell. From what I see the field is narrowing too slowly and Donald Trump grabs solid portions of too many groups to make him an easy one to overtake – and Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson are simply spoilers in a game that favors Donald Trump. If I was Donald Trump i would hurry up and send the Kasich super PAC a few million dollars, just to keep him going beyond super tuesday.

President Trump ? The Clinton vs Trump match up in polls are more less tied. Slightly tilting to Clinton usually. But, that is before the Republican party has to rally behind their nominee – even if his name is The Donald! Once that happens he might well have a shot at winning. Hillary is not a strong candidate and Trump has many sore points he can shamelessly attack.

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As expected UK prime minister David Cameron returned from Bruxelles with a deal giving the UK a few “special arrangements” in their relation to the European Union. Across the board David Cameron is being ridiculed for a minuscule list of achievements that basically add up to exactly nothing.

Right now David Cameron kissing EU boots is trending on Twitter and Facebook:

David Cameron Kissing Boots in Bruxelles. Defeat for UK primeminister in EU as Brexit looms

David Cameron Kissing Boots in Bruxelles.

David Cameron Kissing Boots in Bruxelles.

Defeat for UK primeminister in EU as Brexit looms. The entire idea of the new agreement was for David Cameron to make demands on the EU. Go and do some tough bargaining and bringing home a deal he could sell as a grand victory for Britain over the EU. And finally use it to call a Brexit referendum in which he would support staying in the EU.

The point of the backwards maneuvre of calling a Brexit referendum only to recoommend staying in the EU would be to close the flank Nigel Farage and his rising UKIP party of EU-scepticals along with the anti-EU wing of the Tory party itself. However, the process has been rather derailed from the very start.

  1. David Cameron realised even before the negotiations that most of the ideal demands (such as the right to close the borders and cut off eastern european immigrants) would be impossible to get fulfilled. So he submitted a very modest list of small demands that he tried to sell a important. It failed.
  2. The negotiations in Bruxelles were supposed to look long, hard and brutal. And a war torn primeminister could return with the spoils of victory. Sadly. It didnt play like that. The demands were too small to cause much debate and opening bigger debates were too lethal with Poland on the warpath and Greece wanting to attach the refugee crisis. So, instead, Cameron was basically told “Yeah, take those breadcrumbs and stop whining, go away”
  3. He was supposed to return a victor. Full of conviction being able to point to his results and say: Look, I now support staying in the EU because of this victory. Instead, he came home empty handed to ridicule in newspapers, on the internet and in every news broadcast.

Brexit Referendum

So, now there is gonna be a brexit referendum. And despite all this David Cameron is likely to get his “stay” vote. Right now the “leave” vote actually has a small lead in opinion polls but the referendum is loopsided. The entire establishment, the vast majority of the media, most of the businessworld, all political parties except UKIP and unlimited campaign funds are backing the Stay vote.

Very soon the scaremongering is gonna start from the Stay campaign. Look out for “Businesses will move abroad”, “Thousands of jobs will be lost”, “Criminals will benefit from Brexit” etc. It is the same playbook as the Scottish independence referendum and several others. And it works!

At this time – Stay 80% – Leave 20% is my take on the chances.

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So … today Donald Trump decided it would be a wise move to pick a public fight with… the pope.

Yes, Trump found it ingenious to attack the pope for praying for dead illegal immigrants and holding mass on the border to Mexico … the pope answered:

A person who thinks only about building walls and not about building bridges is not a christian, it is not in the gospel, and im not saying to vote for this guy or that guy, i am simply saying that this guy is not a christian if he has said those things

This is what we call a divine smackdown !

…and what does it mean for the race? Well, so far every round of mudwrestling has been an advantage for Donald Trump. He has been pure teflon. Nothing annoys his voters. But. This time he may have taken one step too far – time will tell, but catholics tend to be rather proud of their new progressive pope and there are A LOT of republican catholics soon headed to vote in the primaries across the country … time will tell !

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Jeb Bush made a final play for getting momentum in what has been an incredibly difficult campaign for him. He has been in the crowded establishment field all along. But with a clear advantage – money! Jeb Bush has unlimited funds in his campaign and Right To Rise super PAC, but despite pouring millions of dollars into New Hampshire and Iowa.

Now the time has come for the South Carolina primary. And yet again Jeb Bush is spending big. Campaigning hard. And trailing in 4th or 5th in the polls. Way behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in 1st and second but worse, in most polls he is behind his competitor for establishment candidate Marco Rubio. In a few polls he has even trailed a John Kasich notoriously ill fitted for South Carolina.

With all this in mind Jeb Bush made his final play: George W Bush ! After years away from the spotlight president 43 joined his little brother for a rally in South Carolina – along with Laura Bush by the way. For the occasion George W. Bush gave one of the most inspired and humorous speeches I ever remember from him, the crowds were huge and happy, Jeb Bush seemed more energized than ever during campaign and the whole vibe made you think – could Jeb be this seasons comeback kid ?

In fact he could! On average Jeb Bush is 3-5% behind Rubio in the polls. And the comeback requires only a third place ahead of Marco Rubio. After such a third place Jeb Bush could get his supporters to start calling for Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson to drop out. To narrow the field and accumulate moderate support. Trump and Cruz? Well they will come 1st and 2nd but that will actually only help Jeb Bush in a comeback effort as it makes moderates and establishment GOPs all the more eager to unite against the two frontrunners.

But if Jeb Bush comes 4th or 5th in South Carolina its lights out. Maybe he wont admit it instantly. Maybe he will battle on through super tuesday. But he wont be the republican nominee and he will be the one called upon to drop out.

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Trump is winning. If someone in the GOP has the clout to do so he should get Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich in the same room. Sit them down, lock the door and not let them leave until they have agreed to a pack going:

We all endorse Marco Rubio for president, John Kasich for Vice president and Jeb Bush for secretary of state. We announce it now and campaign from now till november together. This model brings Florida (Rubio and Bush) and Ohio (Kasich) within reach in the general – and combined the 3 candidates have a current support of around 30%, but combined their ceiling will likely be a lot higher plus they will have several super PACs and tons of establishment endorsements at hand. This way, they can stop Trump. Maybe. But it would have to happen well before super tuesday.

Sad for them. It will not happen. So they will just have to keep brawling against eachother to be the anti-Trump whilst the Donald himself collects delegates.

Hillary needs to eliminate this Bernie guy from the race. She clearly “won” the pre-South Carolina debate against him, she will win the primary and the nomination too. But, he is already hurting her for the general election.

The problem is not that he is being negative or nasty, in fact he is being old buffoony uncle about it all. But, he does force her to defend herself against the left flank non-stop. Leaving Bernie with all the enthuiast idealists in his camp, leaving him yelling progressive things and her having to be the moderate voice of reason non-stop. It would be much better for to argue the other way – whilst building an enthusiastic nationwide base of activists of her own.

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Who Do You Support As Republican Presidential Nominee?

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I was watching post New Hampshire speeches last night .. a quite bizarre experience indeed.

The Donald … he was obviously thrilled about his win, thanking a lot of seemingly random – mostly dead – people. Aside from that it was a strange stream-of-consciousness goldfish attention span speech … “Hey we are gonna make america great again, remember that, hey you overthere I love that sign, lets build a wall, you know i have experience building things, oh I should thank my brother, he´s upthere, dead, but we should rebuild the military so nobody messes with America ever again, omg lets make america great … and on and on …

Second in line came Kasich, who seemed like a very friendly and likeable guy. He spent his 30minutes speech telling us how we all need to hug a bit more. And that was as close as he got to a political idea or suggestion.

Rubio took the blame for his blatant failure in the primary and pointed the finger at himself for messing up at the debate by using robotic talking points over and over. He did this by using obvious talking points. And then rescinded and blamed the media the day after.

Hillary lost by 22 points, bigger than expected and gave an upbeat victory speech with Chelsea and Bill clapping happily in the background. She has clearly been told to try and look human, it really is a struggle for her.

…and finally a 74-old nerdy looking guy called Bernie with a 50yo career in Washington promised change and a socialist revolution, yelled at all the nasty insiders, promised that in future everything (university tuitions, health care and many other things) will be free. All paid for by taxing Wall Street. All his teen fans seemed to love it and for a while I feared he was gonna start doing Footloose dancing.

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A campaign team (which may be as small as one inspired individual, or a heavily-resourced group of professionals) must consider how to communicate the message of the campaign, recruit volunteers, and raise money. Campaign advertising draws on techniques from commercial advertising and propaganda. The avenues available to political campaigns when distributing their messages is limited by the law, available resources, and the imagination of the campaigns’ participants. These techniques are often combined into a formal strategy known as the campaign plan. The plan takes account of a campaign’s goal, message, target audience, and resources available. The campaign will typically seek to identify supporters at the same time as getting its message across.

Campaign advertising

Main article: Campaign advertising

Campaign advertising is the use of paid media (newspapers, radio, television, etc.) to influence the decisions made for and by groups. These ads are designed by political consultants and the campaign’s staff.

Media management

The public media (in US parlance ‘free media’ or ‘earned media’) may run the story that someone is trying to get elected or to do something about such and such.

Mass meetings, rallies and protests

Holding protests, rallies and other similar public events (if enough people can be persuaded to come) may be a very effective campaign tool. Holding mass meetings with speakers is powerful as it shows visually, through the number of people in attendance, the support that the campaign has.

Modern technology and the internet

Main article: Internet activism

The internet is now a core element of modern political campaigns. Communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and organizing. Individual political candidates are also using the internet to promote their election campaign.

Signifying the importance of internet political campaigning, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign relied heavily on social media, and new media channels to engage voters, recruit campaign volunteers, and raise campaign funds. The campaign brought the spotlight on the importance of using internet in new-age political campaigning by utilizing various forms of social media and new media (including Facebook, YouTube and a custom generated social engine) to reach new target populations. The campaign’s social website, my.BarackObama.com, utilized a low cost and efficient method of mobilizing voters and increasing participation among various voter populations. This new media was incredibly successful at reaching the younger population while helping all populations organize and promote action.

Husting

A husting, or the hustings, was originally a physical platform from which representatives presented their views or cast votes before a parliamentary or other election body. By metonymy, the term may now refer to any event, such as debates or speeches, during an election campaign where one or more of the representative candidates are present.

Other techniques

  • Writing directly to members of the public (either via a professional marketing firm or, particularly on a small scale, by volunteers)
  • By distributing leaflets or selling newspapers
  • Through websites, online communities, and solicited or unsolicited bulk email
  • Through a new technique known as Microtargeting that helps identify and target small demographic slices of voters
  • Through a whistlestop tour – a series of brief appearances in several small towns
  • Hampering the ability of political competitors to campaign, by such techniques as counter-rallies, picketing of rival parties’ meetings, or overwhelming rival candidates’ offices with mischievous phone calls (most political parties in representative democracies publicly distance themselves from such disruptive and morale-affecting tactics, with the exception of those parties self-identifying as activist
  • Organizing political house parties
  • Using endorsements of other celebrated party members to boost support (see coattail effect)
  • Remaining close to or at home to make speeches to supporters who come to visit as part of a front porch campaign
  • Vote-by-mail, previously known as ‘absentee ballots’ have grown significantly in importance as an election tool. Today, campaigns in most states must have a strategy in place to impact early voting
  • Sale of official campaign merchandise (colloquially known as chum, in reference to the baiting technique) as a way of commuting a competitor’s popularity into campaign donations, volunteer recruitment, and free advertising
Bernie Sanders Campaign

Bernie Sanders Campaign By Bart Everson

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