16

Happy Sunday- kind of. I’m working today, so it’s not a traditional Sunday to me. I was up early and checking in on staging locations. There’s no days off when you’re 16 days out.

Lots of good stuff for you today. My mind’s all over.

*********************************************

For every revolution, there is a counter-revolution. Barack Obama’s election brought about a rise in racism and the formation of the Tea Party. The reaction to Donald Trump’s election has been a rise in left-wing feminism. This isn’t odd, it’s historical fact. The new part is the revolution/counter-revolution dynamic in our politics- because American politics were never a revolutionary thing. The question is, will there be a reaction to the reaction to Trump? Republicans are betting on it.

*********************************************

I’ve had several conversations this week about a potential Hillary Clinton 2020 campaign. People seemed to divide entirely on gender lines (all were Democrats). What do I think?

I think she would probably not win, so I don’t think she should be nominated, so I don’t think she should run. If you can change the first condition in my mind, you change my mind. The problem for Hillary, of course, is that her approval hasn’t really recovered, which didn’t seem to matter for Trump, but seems to really matter for her. While I’m a huge fan of Hillary, and worked for both of her Presidential campaigns, the most important important factor in what candidates I would support for 2020 is their electability. I don’t see a good reason why a campaign run on the same themes as 2016 would get Hillary elected in 2020.

Just my two cents…

*********************************************

The Eagles should win the NFC East on talent alone, but this ain’t last year’s team. This is their third loss where the defense just couldn’t hold a lead at the end. The offense wasn’t very good, but the defense just quit. Repeating doesn’t seem plausible.

*********************************************

Today’s candidate of the day is Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, the Democratic nominee for Senator from Nevada. If Congresswoman Rosen doesn’t win, it’s a certainty the GOP holds the Senate. Donate here.

*********************************************

The cool thing about being in North Carolina this year is that the political energy is local. While there are a couple of competitive Congressional races, the main action is focused on legislative races, a state Supreme Court race, and proposed constitutional amendments for the state. With the Congressional map being re-drawn next year, these local elections are taking on national significance moving forward- but they’re being decided on local matters.

Advertisements

17

Hey there, happy Saturday, October 20th, 2018. There are 17 days until the 2018 Election. Pictured above is the welcome sign over the South Carolina border in York County. Rock Hill is the main city in those Charlotte suburbs to the South. Next year, when the Presidential campaign begins, they will get a lot of attention.

Today’s post after the jump…

*********************************************

Stories from the boiler room? Well, losing power in the middle of the day is certainly an interesting one. It’s a damp, dreary day in Charlotte, and there must have been a car accident or something. This is a unique experience to say the least.

*********************************************

I’m going to weigh in on a major North Carolina debate- Dale Earnhardt (Sr.) vs Richard Petty. They’re arguably the best two drivers of all-time. They both drove iconic cars, symbols of the sport. And they both come from North Carolina.

I’m not going to weigh in on who’s better (I always was an Earnhardt fan), but I will say this- Dale Earnhardt was more working class, North Carolina. He drove hard, to the point that it killed him. Petty was great, but he was flashy and not that blue collar. I’m taking Dale Sr. as the NASCAR icon of North Carolina.

*********************************************

Today’s candidate of the day is Pennsylvania State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski of Wilkes-Barre. I’ve worked with Eddie for a long time now, and he is truly one of the best representatives of his district that you could ever find. He’s worked hard to secure access affordable, quality health care for his constituents. He’s defended public education. He’s voted to lower property taxes and keep seniors in their homes. He’s been a steadfast defender of unions. He fits the needs of his blue collar district, and he fights hard for them. As the Democratic ranking member on Agriculture, he fights hard for sustainable farming.

Eddie’s district is in Luzerne County though, the capitol of Trump Democratic country. Trump swung the county by 42,000 votes from 2012 to 2016. In that kind of environment, Eddie has to fight to keep his seat. You can donate to help him here.

*********************************************

The Republicans have been in danger of losing the House virtually since day Donald Trump was elected. The question all along is what the Democrats path to victory would look like. It’s becoming clearer now.

Democrats are building their wave in suburbia, with educated white voters who are turning on Trump. Suburban Philadelphia could produce as many as six seats between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Suburban New York could produce in the neighborhood of five. Seats in suburban DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and plenty of other major markets are in play. This election was less about our base, because we have those seats already, and mostly about new converts we made.

The other thing about the Democratic path to victory is that it clearly is requiring a heavy lift out of Pennsylvania and California. Those two states could provide a third of the seats that Democrats need to win the House.

*********************************************

I’m missing Moravian Homecoming. The only part of me happy about that is my liver. I love football games at Steel Field, with that old grandstand, and the South Mountain looming over the visitor side. Today’s a day I’m missing home.

Also, shout outs to Easton High School for beating Parkland last night. That was surprising.

*********************************************

Democrats need to ignore the Trump Administrations push to make immigration central in the closing of this election. While morally right, the Democratic position on immigration has not shown itself to be an electoral winner. Democrats need to keep talking health care and wages. Stay in the winning lane and actually win.

Just my two cents.

18

We’re down to 18 days. The days are kind of cooling down and getting shorter. It’s feeling like Fall, which is good, because I hate the heat.

Democratic coordinated campaigns around the country are doing their first “dry runs” for GOTV this weekend. This is a massive weekend of canvassing, with thousands and thousands of shifts to hit all the doors. With many states already voting, it should come as no shock that this is important. It also shouldn’t be shocking that today, my life is chaotic.

More coming below…

*********************************************

Today’s candidate to support is Tom Malinowski in Congressional district NJ-7. An alum of the Obama Administration, Tom is running in one of New Jersey’s most flippable seats. Hillary carried it in 2016, as the highly educated district revolted against the new age GOP.

Tom’s opponent is Leonard Lance, a “moderate” Republican who has defied his reputation by voting with Donald Trump. A former leader in the State Senate before moving on to Congress, Lance is well funded though. You can donate to help Tom beat him here. You can volunteer here.

*********************************************

I’ll spend most of tomorrow stuck in my “boiler room” taking reports. How do people survive these things? I usually do by working on other stuff or watching TV. I’m not even sure what college football games are on tomorrow though, so what can I watch?

*********************************************

I’m feeling a bit bullish about this election, at least on the House side. I believe the Democrats will win 30-35 seats right now, putting them in the 225-230 seat range. On the Senate side, I’m predicting the Democrats to lose two seats right now. The most important place for Democrats to win though are state houses. I believe right now that Democrats will win about eight governorships. They need legislative chambers though. That’s where it gets done.

*********************************************

I’ll write more tomorrow. Long day.

19

Nineteen days until the election. We’re in the teens now.

I write this post from Killington’s in Huntersville, NC. I just ordered a dozen wings and a beer. It was a long day, as I went to Raleigh last night and came back today on a supplies swap. It was a long day, but a rewarding one. You start to see the end of the tunnel out on the road when people are voting and packets are coming out. This cycle is almost over.

*********************************************

You know what I never want to hear about again? Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. It was an affair. He should not have been asked about it under oath. He should not have been impeached. He should not resigned over it- and any Senator from New York who says otherwise won’t be getting my vote in 2020. This was Hillary’s business to handle, and her’s alone.

*********************************************

You know what would be horrible? A Red Sox-Dodgers World Series? Also, this Thursday Night Football game. The Arizona Cardinals don’t even look like they’re trying.

*********************************************

Is Mitch McConnell trying to lose the midterms? What Senate Majority Leader discusses cutting Social Security three weeks before the midterms? How about one poised to gain seats. The battlegrounds remain in red states, where being a Democrat still *seems* to be disqualifying. Right now I’d project the GOP to pick up one-three seats.

*********************************************

Tonight’s candidate of the night is NJ-5’s Josh Gottheimer. The freshman moderate from North Jersey was a bright spot in the hellscape that was 2016. He took out do-nothing Congressman Garrett in one of New Jersey’s most conservative areas.

Gottheimer winning could be important to a Democratic Majority. Donate to him here. Volunteer here.

20

Happy Election Day! Yes, really. There are 20 days left in the 2018 midterms, but today is the first day of early voting in North Carolina. Actual people are casting actual votes. This is very cool.

*********************************************

If the Eagles hadn’t won the Super Bowl in February, they would be incredibly frustrating. They’ve taken losses to the Buccaneers, Titans, and Vikings, none of whom look like actual contenders to me. The weird part is, I still think they can beat anybody on the right day. The Rams and Chiefs as “favorites” don’t overwhelm me. Call me stupid, but I’m still thinking Eagles-Patriots re-match in Super Bowl 53, if the Eagles can figure out their corner-safety coverage schemes without McLeod.

*********************************************

Today’s candidate of the day is Senator Bob Casey. The Pennsylvania Senator, long admired as a quiet, mild-mannered moderate has found his voice in the era of Donald Trump. Senator Casey has stood firm against Trump on everything from the Muslim ban to Brett Kavanaugh, despite being more moderate on policy than some of the fire breathers in the party.

Bob Casey has done the right thing, facing political peril for doing so in a state Trump won. Donate to him here. Volunteer here.

*********************************************

While we’re on the subject of Senator Casey, his decency got the better of him again. Senator Casey has pulled an ad hitting Congressman Barletta in his home market for his vote to repeal the ACA and instead revoke patient protections from being blocked for having pre-existing conditions. Why? It hit too close to home for Barletta. Really. He has a grandson who is a twin (like the children in the ad) and is receiving chemo now.

Bob Casey did the good and decent thing by pulling the ad down in Northeast PA. It’s not the right thing though. I’m glad Rep. Barletta’s grandson is getting the treatment he needs, but Rep. Barletta should stop denying that treatment to other people in America. If he wants to doom other people while reaping the rewards of his position in society, he deserves to be held to account, comfortable or not.

*********************************************

I miss a lot of things up North right now. I miss New York City. I miss cold weather. I miss Philly Sports Talk Radio. I’m going to miss Moravian Homecoming this week. I’m missing the trees changing colors.

Easton, PA, you are a wonderful place. You’re just a bit too far away.

*********************************************

Facebook just informed me that two years ago today I watched NASA shoot a rocket into space from the Outer Banks. That was 22 days out from the election, and all was right in the world.

Happy 20 days.

21

Happy three weeks out! It’s Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, or 21 days out from the mid-term election. After all that has happened in the last two years, we’re almost at the point of judgment. The question is simple: will the midterm be about Donald Trump, or something more? Will voters reward Democrats, or penalize everyone?

We’ll find out in three weeks.

*********************************************

The NBA is back! As a Sixers fan, I’m very excited for 2018-19. I’m calling a Warriors three-peat, with a sweep of the Celtics by an average of 25 ppg in the finals. I’ve got the Sixers at 56 wins, third in the conference. LeBron’s Lakers will lose in the second round after barely advancing.

*********************************************

There’s a few things in Charlotte that I want to see, if possible, that I haven’t seen yet. What are they, you ask?

  • NASCAR Hall-of-Fame
  • Billy Graham Library
  • Hornets game
  • Panthers Game

We’ll see how I do.

*********************************************

There’s a dangerous national narrative unfolding that suggests the Tennessee Senate race is “over.” Absolutely no internal polling, nor a basic review of spending on the race suggests it’s over, but that narrative has run wild since the NYTimes live poll gave Marsha Blackburn a double digit lead. If the narrative is being pushed by Republicans, shame on reporters for pushing it. If it’s anyone else, that’s weird. And maybe telling.

*********************************************

Democrats need to update the way we organize. I’m not saying we get it all wrong now, but we need to meet our voters where they are. If you want to turn out younger voters, and other non-traditional types of voters, we need to move away from a phone-based organizing strategy to a text and digital one. This may make it harder to judge organizer productivity, but it’s worth it.

The other thing we have to do is re-shuffle what voters we think are “swing.” Our turnout universe is important, and needs work, but those voters are not who swung against us between 2010 and 2016. Who did? Our traditional Democrats. Older, consistent voters that voted Democratic in the past are who swung against us. Most of them are white. Most of them are fairly traditional. Unless we’re going get our newer voters to spread out across America, we need to invest more in persuasion.

*********************************************

As per above, today’s candidate of the day is former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. If you want any hope of Democrats taking back the Senate, Bredesen has to win his race. While we may all want to believe we’re going to win Arizona and Texas, those are tough races. Nevada is also turning out to be very tough. There are several potential incumbent losses out there too. Bredesen is well liked and is an experienced candidate. Democrats need him to win. Donate here to help him. Volunteer here.

22

Good day, Happy Monday. It’s October 15th. We’re halfway through the tenth month of 2018. That’s amazing. We’re also 22 days from the mid-term election of the Donald Trump Presidency. Yes, we’re like halfway through his term. This is about the point where I tell you to stop wishing the Obamas would come back, and start considering who should be next.

And with that, on to today…

*********************************************

Today’s candidate is a close friend of mine, and a great incumbent Democrat facing a serious challenge in Monroe County, PA, Maureen Madden. Rep. Madden has spent her first term fighting to lower property taxes, protect the rights of workers to organize, and make sure we all have access to affordable health care.

Maureen has an opponent who she defeated in 2016, and lost to in 2014. He’s well funded, and he’s almost certainly getting outside dark money from groups like the NRA that hate Maureen’s advocacy on the behalf of gun violence prevention. This race will be very difficult.

Maureen needs your help. Donate to her here!

*********************************************

Fantasy football has changed the way I watch pro football. For instance, I couldn’t give a damn less about tonight’s MNF game, but I’m very interested in how the Packers defense plays for me, and how my opponent’s two player play in the game against me. But do I care who wins a Green Bay-San Francisco game?

Not really.

*********************************************

So now the Saudi Arabian Kingdom is basically admitting they did lure in a dissident reporter, who was living in suburban DC, to their embassy in Turkey, where they killed him, because the “interrogation went wrong.” This seems like a totally sane, normal action for an ally of ours to take, right?

Mohammed Bin Salman, better known as MBS, is going to be the king of Saudi Arabia in short order. I don’t know what that means for the good of the world order, but he may very well be one of the most disruptive leaders in the world. A stupid, reckless stunt like this against his enemies shouldn’t make anyone feel good.

*********************************************

After the 2016 election, I wrote a lot about the direction Democrats needed to go to get back to winning. Democrats seem to have embraced parts of that, but not others. I said Democrats needed to embrace the “Hillary coalition”- non-white voters and educated white voters in the suburbs- if they wanted to win future elections. I also said they needed to embrace more “meat and potato” style issues- things that effect quality of life. I warned at that time that embracing socialism or pure identity politics could backfire. So now the question is being asked- as early vote begins around the country, did Democrats succeed?

If you read direct mail and watch campaign ads, Democratic candidates on the ballot went to great lengths to keep on message- talking health care, wages, infrastructure, public education, and other things that broadly effect society. That’s what the campaigns said. The party’s activists and potential 2020 candidates were not as on message. But will it matter?

I think Democrats are going to win the House, and a nice load of state legislative seats, largely in suburban, highly educated districts. The question is, did the lack of discipline on message cost us Senate seats? Did some of the increasingly “pure” message hurt us in the Missouris and Tennessees of the world? We’re going to find out in three weeks…

23

Happy Sunday, October 14th, 2018. There are 23 days until the midterm elections. As the time ticks off towards zero, I am reminded that I felt great yet at this point in 2016, so let’s not worry too much about how I *feel.* As for what I see…

Let’s dive into today’s stuff…

*********************************************

What if I told you a bloodbath might not be coming in the 2018 midterms? I think Democrats are going to win the House, like most people, but we may not get much beyond that. Would you believe me? How big do you think the “Blue Wave” is?

Right now, the Cook Political report says that 16 Republican seats are either likely Democratic or lean Republican. Democrats need just 23 seats to take the House and elect a Speaker. There are 29 Republican seats considered total toss-ups, and 24 that lean Republican, meaning at least 69 Republican seats are in peril right now. If the political winds tip just a bit towards the Democrats, they could have a great, great night and win 250 seats. That’s not necessarily likely though.

What is more likely is a Democratic victory much like 2006- in the 30 seat neighborhood. That would give Democrats a majority, but only with about 225 seats. That’s not a massive majority in the House (like 225-210), and that’s just one chamber. What will happen beyond the House?

The Real Clear Politics projection for the U.S. Senate is R+2 seats. RCP bases it’s projection on an average of the polls. In other words, they have Democrats losing Senate seats. They have Democrats picking up 7 or 8 Governorships, which is valuable, but it’s telling which ones they don’t have Democrats picking up- blue states like Massachusetts and Maryland, or “popular” ones among the Democratic base like Georgia, or worse yet, ones that really should have been ripe for the picking like Nevada. It’s worth noting that the places Democrats lead for pick-ups, like Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and even Michigan, are states where establishment, mainstream candidates won the primaries.

I expect Democrats to pick up several state legislatures and Governor’s mansions on election night, and to win the House. I’m less confident that Democrats will be celebrating massive majorities, and wins by candidates like Beto O’Rourke. When this is done, we will need to take stock of how much money and energy we wasted to appease our “Resistance.”

*********************************************

I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for a few weeks that the Astros are going to repeat, whether any of us like that or not. Last night they handled the Red Sox, 7-2 at Fenway. Houston is just a next level team, and expecting anyone to stop their repeat seems futile to me.

The other thing that seems futile to me is expecting the National League/JV League champ to compete either. If Oakland or Cleveland, two teams sent home early in the AL, were in the NL, they would have won. The fact is that Houston, Boston, and even the Yankees, would crush the NL Champion. All three won 100 games this season, and sport elite offenses that no NL team can keep up with. The real World Series is Houston and Boston.

That’s even more true when you have Craig Counsell pulling guys throwing a shutout through 5.2 innings and Clayton Kershaw being October Kershaw. I get that the game is changing, but going straight to the bullpen in the third when Gio Gonzalez is pitching just fine will never sit right with me. Perhaps baseball is over-relying on the algorithms.

*********************************************

How’s ‘Ye doin’? No, really, how is Kanye doing? The man who wrote lyrics like, “Little is known of Sierra-Leone, and how it connects to the diamonds we own,” and accused George W. Bush of not caring about black people is now spending time at the White House, hanging out with Donald Trump. It’s as though the man isn’t ok…

Kanye is one of my favorite rappers ever, present tense. The man is an artistic genius. Songs he made, songs he produced, are parts of my soul at this point, because they weren’t just very good, but they carried personal meaning in their moments in time. That’s why watching this man disintegrate into a steaming pile of trash isn’t as funny to me as it is to many others. Three years ago, Kanye and Kim were taking selfies with Hillary and Kanye was being attacked as a “reverse racist” by conservatives. Now he’s a MAGAt? Huh?!?

Part of this is clearly just about selling records, I guess. Part of it could be Kanye being changed by the fame. It’s also entirely possible, and not at all funny, that maybe this man is mentally ill, a drug addict, or both. I don’t know how to explain it though.

It’s important that we don’t treat Kanye’s outrageous behavior as legitimate though. This isn’t the same as his old buddy Taylor Swift telling people to vote, and to vote for a specific candidate. This was the screeching of a changed man, a not well man, who is completely ostracizing himself from his own fan base, while talking about how time is a construct. He’s not well.

*********************************************

I’m going to throw today’s candidate to watch in here, instead of last today. Today I want you to help my home candidate for the Pennsylvania State House, Amy Cozze, who is running for the 137th district in the PA House.

Amy is a mother, cancer survivor, small business owner, and activist. She believes Harrisburg doesn’t work right now, like most Pennsylvanians. Funding our schools, fixing our infrastructure, creating good paying jobs, and insuring access to affordable health care are some of her priorities. Her opponent, Rep. Joe Emrick has actively cut education funding, pushed against access to affordable health care, and opposed giving workers a living wage. We need a change.

Donate to Amy here. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Volunteer if you can, here.

*********************************************

College football is a lot like the NBA, in that you get caught up in the storyline as a fan, even though you know Alabama/Golden State is going to win in the end. Teams fall in and out of contention throughout the season, which makes it fun to watch.

I grew up a Notre Dame fan, adopted Penn State too when I started knowing players and going up there to party, and also now like Temple, since my sister went there. My, what different paths these teams are taking.

My Fighting Irish remained unbeaten and in the top five after surviving Pitt yesterday. The biggest problem Notre Dame has is that they don’t play all ranked teams in prime time. Their worst performances this year have come against teams like Vanderbilt and Pitt- unranked power five teams that are just talented enough to be threatening, but not enough to be impressive. Even so, the Irish are still in position to get to the playoff and *maybe* break the curse of Touchdown Jesus.

Penn State’s season is finished. Losing a two score lead to Ohio State with eight minutes left at home was bad, but letting Michigan State come back and win at the end yesterday is a death blow. There will be no Big Ten title, no playoffs, nothing. They have to get it together now and win some games to get to a New Year’s Day Bowl.

Temple- yes, Temple. They were 0-2 to start, and lost to one-double-a (yes, I call it that) Villanova to open the year. Now they’re 4-3, and back in the AAC picture. Their remaining schedule is brutal- games against ranked teams like UCF and Cincinnati, to name some- but they look alright. They basically need a tough win somewhere to probably be bowl eligible.

*********************************************

I’m going to close by complaining about one of my new, favorite apps from this campaign, Slack. I probably over lean on Slack to communicate with my team, but I’m not apologizing. I love Slack, except for one thing- you can’t send memes. In 2018, it should be illegal to have an app with no memes.

Someone fix this- pronto.

24

Good day, today is Saturday, October 13th, 2018, just 24 days before the 2018 midterm elections. The picture I put with this post is a mural along Central Avenue in Charlotte, NC, on the side of the Skylark Social Club. More about Elvis in a moment.

My day started bright and early. I really should stop doing this on 5.5 hours and a coffee. Or if I don’t want to sleep, I should have two tequilas instead of one.

But hey, at least I didn’t give up a home run to a relief pitcher last night, so my day is better than Clayton Kershaw’s.

*********************************************

About a week ago, I was Instagram-chatting with a really old friend of mine about our lives. Now I will tell you, she’s one of the cooler people I know. She went to Lehigh University, and that should tell you she’s smart, but she’s really conversationally smart too, beyond the books. She also might have partied her 20’s away harder than I did, and to more success. She’s a CPA, working and living in Manhattan since she graduated college.

I describe her in such detail, but purposely leaving her looks out of it for a moment. Why? Probably because they shouldn’t really matter in a discussion of her career. She’s smart and does her job. She has been recently job hunting, and she got a really good offer to leave. When she let her boss know (who she doesn’t describe as a very “enlightened” white guy), he counter-offered her a front office job, for less money, because “She’s too pretty to waste her life in accounting.” Say what? Her degree is in accounting. She’s been working in accounting for almost a decade. Why would you ever say this?

As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize the difference in what women face professionally, compared to me as a man. I try to shy away from whether or not I label myself as a “feminist” or not for many reasons that I’ll write about in another post (but they basically come down to my issues with being any -ism or -ist, as a person), but I think most men (yes, most) need to open their eyes towards the completely separate set of standards that women live under in the workplace. If you hire someone to do a job, their gender and looks should really not have any role in it. What does it matter if they are pretty or not, if they can do the job? This is just something a woman should never have to deal with.

I said above that she’s smart, and capable. She is. That should be more than enough to make clear in this post.

*********************************************

If you are into politics and are on Twitter, but don’t follow @Nate_Cohn, you’re missing out. He does much deeper dive, fundamental breakdowns of politics than many of the horse-race political reporters. His stuff is interesting.

He has been tweeting a lot about the New York Times live polls they have been releasing across the country. You can read the thread here. Here’s the striking thing to me- the solid leads Republicans have in red states, and the way they’ve opened up single-digit leads in areas that have been reliably red in the past, but seemed to be on the board. Real Trumpish Republican districts seem to have shifted slightly back there way since the Kavanaugh fight, while Trumpish states seem to have slid considerably backwards for Democrats. I never believed Beto would beat Ted Cruz, but I feel more sure now.

What we see here again is an example of how satisfying the Democratic base can make winning swing districts very difficult. The Democratic base doesn’t live in swing-districts the way the Republican base does. Look at the average margin of victory for the median Democratic member of Congress, as opposed to Republicans- some of that is gerrymandering, some of it is political sorting, or where voting blocks live. The Democratic base was passionate about stopping Kavanaugh, but they live in blue seats- so they’re not necessarily helpful here. I’m a bit surprised how this fight moved statewide races, particularly a small, but significant bump for Kemp in Georgia, and a significant one for Blackburn in Tennessee. Clearly though, the Democrats stand on Kavanaugh at least temporarily helped the GOP in places they hold now (which are where Democrats need to win to flip anything).

This isn’t to say I think the Democrats were wrong to fight on Kavanaugh, and the evidence isn’t yet unanimous (see the Indiana Senate race). I think there’s a time to stand on principle, and be willing to lose a fight- and Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court for life is probably it. I’m just saying we might be feeling it bite back now.

*********************************************

The South is a complicated place, particularly when it comes to it’s history. One part I don’t find much to feel negative about is it’s musical history. As I said above, I would get back to Elvis, and here is where I do that.

The most unfortunate thing I have found in my time here is how far away Nashville actually is from Charlotte. If I got in the car right now, the 411 mile ride would take me over six hours. For me, that’s just not going to happen during election season.

That’s a shame, because I consider Nashville (along with Charlotte, Atlanta, and New Orleans) to be one of the four “must-see” spots of the South. I’m not a huge country fan, but I really do want to see the studios where Elvis and Johnny Cash made history. I’m a fan of both of them, and I find the industry and historic side of Nashville to be fascinating. While I’m not getting there right now, I need to. Elvis is the one part of Southern heritage I’d like to learn more about.

*********************************************

Today’s candidate of the day for you all is Fred Hubbell, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Iowa. Over the last several election cycles, Iowa has become a political hellscape, a place where the legislature has become hyper-partisan. The state government is pretty much entirely Republican now, and they’ve decided to run a privatized Medicaid expansion that has basically failed. If I wasn’t working on the things I’m working on, I almost ended up going to Iowa to work, because I’m so alarmed at what’s been done.

Electing Fred Hubbell means funding education. Electing Fred Hubbell means real Medicaid expansion, which helps both real uninsured people, and hospitals that won’t have to worry about payment. Electing Fred Hubbell means a champion for family farms, sustainable agriculture, and a cleaner environment. Iowa needs Fred Hubbell. Follow him on twitter here. Donate to him here. Volunteer for the Iowa Democrats here.

25

Today is October 12th, 2018, 25 days before the midterm election. It’s a beautiful, Southern Fall day- sunny and in the 70’s during the day, down into the 50’s and 60’s at night. Beautiful weather isn’t a rule though. Yesterday Hurricane Matthew rolled through Charlotte yesterday and knocked out power, dropped buckets of rain, and generally left debris everywhere. It was not really scary, but it definitely made me a bit anxious- what if a tree falls on my new car?

Fortunately, the storm came and went, and my car is in one piece. Small victories.

*********************************************

Data runs the world. “Moneyball” has taken over baseball, despite the fact that Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s have not played a World Series game during his tenure. The value of moving runners and bunting has been replaced by launch angles, exit velocities, and WAR. Advanced metrics, and formerly obscure stats, now tell us who has the most value in baseball.

Politics, and particularly the campaigns, are going the same way. Data is driving everything from GOTV targets to what precincts get walked each day. An algorithm in Brooklyn picked where Hillary Clinton scheduled visits. The Russian troll farms picked targets and bought Facebook ads based on data they got by hacking (and stealing from) the DNC. Big data runs everything now, and to be fair, it does give us a way better view of where to go and what to do in order to get votes. Data definitely belongs at the table.

Political campaigns cannot run on an algorithm though, especially coalition driven, Democratic campaigns. There is a certain level of human driven, political savvy, common sense decision making that needs to be made on a well run campaign. Much as “moneyball” has failed in baseball, algorithm driven politics produced Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Donald Trump. An algorithm said visit Philadelphia a 23rd time, instead of visiting Bethlehem or Wilkes-Barre a first. An algorithm said that it was more important to do the extra visits in Miami and Chapel Hill, while not going out to Elizabeth City or some of the exurbs of Tampa. Published reports say that Bill Clinton was laughed at and brushed off as old-fashioned inside the campaign for saying the campaign needed to spend some time in Pennsylvania’s smaller cities, or in rural, Eastern North Carolina. I’d say the record says Bill was right.

Inside campaigns, data has dramatically changed how field operations run. Organizers are now there to produce the highest numbers possible, more so than to community organize. Regional field directors are more so managers for the organizers, and less so there to deal with regional political issues. GOTV Directors are largely logistical captains, and less involved as far as putting together or managing the operation. Basically, big data is increasingly driving the bus, and human capital is less crucial.

I’m not sure if that’s got a lot of positive value.

*********************************************

With the NLCS and ALCS starting, I figured I’d make some predictions.

I’ve got the Astros over the Red Sox in six. Both teams will steam roll the NL Champion, but the Astros are looking to me like a next level, dynasty team.

I’m struggling with the NL. While the Dodgers don’t impress me, my head says they win. My gut says the Brewers feel like the team of destiny to me though. I’ll go Brewers in seven, stocking with instinct.

*********************************************

My Eagles won big last night, and they needed it. Write this down- they will get it together and win the division in the end. They’re next level.

Saquon Barkley scored my fantasy team over 30 points last night. Saquon didn’t beat my Eagles though. I’m really happy with that outcome. Let’s see that for a while.

*********************************************

Today’s candidate of the day is my Governor, Tom Wolf. Governor Wolf was elected four years ago, against the worst Governor human-being in the Commonwealth’s history, Tom Corbett. That would be the same former Governor who cut education funding, taxed natural gas producers at a lower rate than Texas or Alaska, and completely botched the Sandusky/Penn State scandal every which way imaginable.

The problem Governor Wolf has faced though is that Corbett’s 2010 legislature has remained in place for the last four years, making life difficult for the Governor. Even so, he’s managed to restore funding to education, better fund our human services, and protect our natural resources. He’s signed legislation to expand expungement for reformed offenders and protected women’s health care services. He’s done this in spite of the Republican legislature. He’s done a good job.

One of the big road blocks in Harrisburg, one of the least productive members of the State Senate, up to his resignation earlier this Summer, was Scott Wagner. That would be Scott Wagner who said today that he will “stomp all over” Governor Wolf’s “face, with golf spikes.” You can’t make this up. Does this guy seem like he has the temperament to lead, to you?

Governor Wolf needs your help. Donate to him here. Volunteer with the PA Dems coordinated campaign here.