Politics May 10, 2018: GOP closing in on Democrats in new 2018 Midterm elections poll with Trump the main issue

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GOP closing in on Democrats in new 2018 Midterm elections poll with Trump the main issue

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

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In less than six months before the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats are losing their poll advantage against the Republicans. In less than four months they lost a significant advantage, that indicates that the election could still go either way. On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, CNN / SSRS released a new poll on the midterm elections, that indicated 47 percent of “registered voters” supported their local Democratic candidate versus 44 percent saying they support the Republican candidate. In February, Democrats had a huge 16 point lead, that shrunk in March to six percent and now is three percent, within a poll’s margin of error. President Donald Trump’s approval rating is partially the cause as Democrats have yet to focuses on an issue to rally voters aside from their opposition to the president.

According to the latest poll, American voters still do not know if the GOP should retain control on Congress; the House of Representatives and Senate. Democrats only have a slight edge when it comes over who “the country would be better off” with 31percent versus 30 percent saying the GOP. While 34 percent saying it does not matter who controls Congress, with nearly half of independent voters 48 percent among them.

Still, more Democrats are very enthusiastic about the election versus Republicans, 50 to 44 percent; Republicans have boosted their enthusiasm factor up from 36 percent in March. As CNN notes, “53% of those who are very enthusiastic about voting say they’d back the Democrat in their district vs. 41% who say they favor the GOP candidate.” Ten percent more of enthusiastic voters want that Democrats to control Congress. Enthusiasm is always an important factor in elections as it brings voters to the polls, the extra incentive is necessary especially in midterm elections.

This year’s midterms are definitely a referendum on President Trump, with 64 percent claiming Trump is a very or extremely important factor in their voting this fall, while among enthusiastic voters that numbers jump to 78 percent. Enthusiastic voters are the ones that oppose the president the most with 51 percent wanting a candidate who opposes his policies, versus 46 percent, who want a candidate that agrees with him. Still, those numbers are down from January, 52 percent of voters would support a candidate who opposes Trump versus 41 who support him, the numbers are now 48 to 43 percent.

Helping the Republicans is that Trump’s poll numbers among all Americans are actually holding “steady” at 41 percent approving and 53 disapproving the same as in the last poll in March. The president’s numbers are far better among voters, with a 44 percent approval rating and a 51 percent disapproval rating. However, he is gaining points in his handling of the issues. Meanwhile, six in ten Americans find the country is going in the right direction, 57 percent up eight points from March. More Democrats find the country is going in a good direction, 40 percent up from 25 in February.

Trump’s numbers are improving because of increased Democratic support, especially on the issues. The economy is the issue where Trump has the best approval rating, at 52 percent up from 48 percent. Eleven percent more Democrats approve of the president’s handling of the economy now with 26 percent. Trump’s number is also improving on foreign trade 43 percent up from 38, and immigration 40 percent up from 36. His approval rating has also improved on foreign affairs to 42 percent up from 39 percent. Some of these numbers are the best since his first 100 days in office.

Trump’s best issue in the polls, the economy seems to be the most important issue to voters with 84 percent calling it extremely or very important, that number has grown from February, where 79 percent felt that way. Taxes is a rising issue with 73 percent saying is important, up from 67 percent. Immigration also remains hot-button issue, 76 percent up from 72 percent of voters calling it important. Gun control remains an important issue, 76 percent of all voters consider it important, only down two points from February, when there was a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The 15 point divide between the two parties has virtually faded with 79 of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans calling it an important issue. The rest of the issues have declined in importance; health care down 80 from 83 percent, sexual harassment 58 down from 64 percent, and even the Russia investigation are losing importance 40 down from 45 percent. The changes in importance on issues is mostly partisan based.

The Congressional party leaders in the House on both sides fare worse in their popularity than the president. Only 30 percent view Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi favorably versus 49 percent unfavorable, with only 57 percent of Democrats having a positive view of their leader. Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan fares better with 38 percent viewing him favorably versus 46 percent unfavorably. Ryan numbers are better mostly from greater GOP support, with 67 percent of the party having a positive view of the speaker. Despite voters feeling about their leaders, the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably, 44 percent to the GOP’s 39 percent.

While voters usually want candidates that share their views, Democrats care about less about this than Republicans, 76 to 67 percent. Democrats have been facing problems trying to decide which issue they should focus on in the midterm campaign. Most, however, agree an anti-Trump campaign will not be enough. Princeton University historian and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer told The Hill, believes that vagueness on the issues helps the party, “Politically, their preference is to have some agenda items and some broad ideas that the party will fight for, and enough vagueness that it’s hard to be pinned down. It’s literally a document to rally people, and I think the good ones are written that way.”

Writing in an editorial on CNN, entitled “Democrats, focus on midterms — not Trump impeachment talk,” Zelizer cautions “The biggest challenge for Democrats is to avoid letting anti-Trump fervor drown out their own message.” Democrats need 23 seats to gain control of the House and at least a seven-point poll advantage over the GOP, which they lost in this latest poll. Trump’s improved polls numbers are a hamper to any anti-message against him, get is now also no longer the most unpopular president, his poll numbers are similar to Democratic President Jimmy Carter in May 1978, still, not the most promising comparison to the one-term president. With Trump’s numbers in a “Goldilocks zone,” where he can neither harm nor help his party, and Republicans will have it easier as a result to retain power, while Democrats will have to work harder for control of Congress.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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Politics January 10, 2017: 2016 election is over as Congress certifies Trump’s Electoral College win

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2016 election is over as Congress certifies Trump’s Electoral College win

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Finally, what seemed like the longest and nastiest presidential election in American history is over. On Friday, January 6, 2017, Congress in a joint session certified the Electoral College votes the elected Republican Donald Trump president. Like the campaign, the certification process did not complete without Democrats trying to mount a last minute effort to prevent Trump from becoming president, actions, that Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the count shutdown.

In a process that took an hour, Trump was certified with 304 Electoral Votes rather than 306 with two Texas faithless electors voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the other for former Sen. Ron Paul. Democrat Hillary Clinton ended up with 227 Electoral votes as opposed to the 232 she was supposed to receive after the election returns were counted surprisingly five electors defected from Clinton. According to ABC News Online the “FINAL CERTIFIED TALLY: Donald Trump — 304, Hillary Clinton — 227, Colin Powell — 3, John Kasich — 1, Ron Paul — 1, Bernie Sanders — 1, Faith Spotted Eagle — 1.”

The certification did not go off smoothly as some Democratic representatives from “various states” protested during the process, but they needed a Democratic senator to join their cause in writing, and none wanted to make a “formal complaint.” According to The Hill, the representatives that objected to the Electoral Votes include “Freshman Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.)” and “Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).”

Instead, the representatives just interrupted and annoyed Biden who had to chastise them repeatedly, and according to CNN, they interrupted the Vice President 11 times. Biden scolded them a few times, “There is no debate. There is no debate.” Biden told Rep. Jayapal, “There is no debate, and if it’s not signed by a senator the objection cannot be entertained.”ABC News recounted that he banged the gavel several times to stop one representative from speaking.

The Vice President also gave them a reality check telling the representatives “It is over.” According to the Hill, Biden’s declaration prompted “cheers” from the Republicans who mostly occupied the chamber and even made Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) “laugh.” Thankfully, it is all over after the rollercoaster ride that was the 2016 presidential election.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Politics December 20, 2016: Electoral College officially elects Donald Trump president-elect

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Electoral College officially elects Donald Trump president-elect

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: TIME

It is official Donald Trump is the president-elect. On Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, the 538 members of the Electoral College met and voted, finally putting an end to the tumultuous roller coaster that was the 2016 presidential election. By late afternoon Trump had reached the 270 votes necessary to assume the presidency. This year’s vote had a historic element it saw the largest amount of rogue faithless electors in modern presidential election history.

After reaching the milestone number of votes, Trump issued a statement calling his election win “a historic electoral landslide victory in our nation’s democracy.” Trump lost the popular vote to opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by over 2.8 million mostly coming from the state of California. Trump had the worst popular vote of a winner than any president since the divisive 1876 election when Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won against Democrat Samuel B. Tilden after an Electoral Commission decided the election after neither candidate reached the Electoral vote majority. Tilden won more electors in the election and the popular vote, but the compromise of 1877 that ended Reconstruction put Hayes in the White House. Trump’s Electoral College victory was also only the 46th “largest” out of 58 votes winning only 56.9% of the electoral vote.

Continuing the president-elect expressed, “I thank the American people for their overwhelming vote to elect me as their next President of the United States. The official votes cast by the Electoral College exceeded the 270 required to secure the presidency by a very large margin, far greater than ever anticipated by the media. This election represents a movement that millions of hard working men and women all across the country stood behind and made possible. With this historic step, we can look forward to the bright future ahead. I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans. Together, we will make America great again.”

Vice-President Mike Pence was the first to comment of his running-mates victory. Pence tweeted “Congratulations to @RealDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!” Afterward, he wrote, “I’m honored & humbled to be officially elected today as the next Vice President of the United States of America by the Electoral College.”

Clinton’s husband former President Bill Clinton served as an elector from New York State, which Clinton won. The former president tweeted, “As an elector from my home state of New York, I’ve never been more proud to cast a vote than my vote today for @HillaryClinton.”

A campaign and movement by liberals to convince Republicans to change their votes from Trump did not succeed. Still, there were seven faithless electors the largest number in modern presidential election history. Since 1872, there has never been more than one faithless elector. In 1872 Democratic nominee Horace Greeley died after the election but before the Electoral College vote with 63 out the 66 electoral votes he garnered the electors refused to vote for a deceased candidate with 43 dividing their votes among non-candidates primarily to Greeley’s running mate B. Gratz Brown. Three Georgia electoral votes were cast for Greeley, but Congress considered them invalid, while 17 abstained.

There would have been more faithless electors this time around, but the states that do not permit electors to change their votes and they ultimately replaced the rogue electors. One elector in each of the three states Maine, Minnesota and Colorado attempted to vote against Clinton; state election officials replaced them with alternate electors.

The campaign against Trump was motivated by Russian hacks that interfered in the election hoping to have Trump win as opposed to Clinton according to the CIA and FBI. The electors also failed to gain the intelligence briefing on Russia’s interference as they had hoped. Protests also erupted in small pockets, all over the country before the vote. Despite it all, Trump only saw two faithless electors, in Texas one elector voted for 2016 GOP candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich and another backed former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, repeat GOP presidential candidate who last ran in 2012.

Ironically, most of the faithless electors tried or did change their votes from Clinton. Clinton lost five electoral votes, four from Washington State, and one from Hawaii. Three of the Washington electors voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one voted for “Native American tribal leader Faith Spotted Eagle.” In Hawaii, the faithless elector voted for 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose popularity is outlasting his movement during the campaign.

In the end, Trump garnered 304 electoral votes, while Clinton amassed 227. In contrast, after the Nov. 8 election, Trump had 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. Congress has to count the Electoral College votes officially when the 115th Congress goes into session on Jan. 6, 2017 where current Vice President Joe Biden will preside.

For more on Presidential election history see Presidential Campaigns & Elections Reference

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics December 7, 2016: TIME magazine names President-Elect Donald Trump their 2016 person of the year

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Time magazine names Trump their 2016 person of the year

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: TIME

President-elect Donald Trump now holds a title that last year he said he would never receive Time magazine’s Person of the Year. On Wednesday morning, Dec. 7, 2016, Time named Trump their Person of the Year, an honor awarded recent president-elects. Time’s recognition is somewhat conflicting calling Trump the President of the Divided States of America with a cover many readers claim make him appear to have horns on his head and seem uncomplimentary.

Trump appeared on the Today show to discuss his Time cover Wednesday morning, telling the hosts, “It’s a great honor, it means a lot, especially me growing up reading Time magazine. But to be on the cover of Time magazine as the ‘Person of the Year’ is a tremendous honor.”

The president-elect was also not a fan of the title saying it was “snarky.” Trump explained, “I’m not president, yet so I didn’t do anything to divide. I mean there’s a lot of division. And we’re going to put it back together and we’re going to have a country that’s very well healed and we’re going to be a great economic force and we’re going to build up our military and safety and we’re going to do a lot of great things.”

Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs explained why the magazine chose Trump. Gibbs wrote, “For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump’s victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class. For those who see it for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism.”

Trump gave the interview for the profile in Fifth Avenue Manhattan Trump Tower penthouse. The president-elect expressed, “What amazes a lot of people is that I’m sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody’s ever seen. And yet I represent the workers of the world. I’m representing them, and they love me, and I love them.”

Time magazine chooses their Person or People of the Year based on whether “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Every president since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 has been named Person of the Year at some point in their presidency recently, however, the president-elect has taken the honors, since Jimmy Carter in 1976. As the Hill noted, “President Obama was named Person of the Year in both 2008 and 2012 after winning elections, as was President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.”

Time also named five runner- ups, Trump’s opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was first, The Hackers of the 2016 presidential campaign, second, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was third, The Crispr Pioneers were fourth while singer Beyonce was fifth.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 28, 2016: Election 2016 redux Trump calls Clinton a hypocrite for recount support

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Election 2016 redux Trump calls Clinton a hypocrite for recount support

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The harsh 2016 campaign is never ending. President-elect Donald Trump has a good reason to call his former opponent and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a hypocrite. On Saturday evening, Nov. 26, 2016, and Sunday morning, Nov. 27, Trump went after Clinton supporting Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s filing for a recount in three battleground states. The president-elect criticized Clinton on Twitter for not wanting to accept the election results when she spent nearly two months attacking him that he would not concede and accept the election results.

On Saturday evening, Trump criticized just the Democratic Party, writing, “The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore! Then Trump went after Clinton specifically, writing, “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.”

Clinton heavily criticized Trump for refusing to agree that he would accept the election results in a response to one of the questions during the third presidential debate. Trump repeatedly said the elections were rigged against him, because of the now proved bias against him and for Clinton by both the media and the polls.

On Sunday, Trump reminded Clinton of her response attacking him for his position on election concession. On Twitter, the president-elect posted Clinton’s comments from the campaign, “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a — during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”

In another post, Trump wrote Clinton called his position, “a direct threat to our democracy.” Trump also reposted a quote from Clinton’s concession speech, where she declared, “We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

This was the first time Trump specifically blamed Clinton for the recount effort. On Saturday, Trump disparaged just Stein and the Green Party for their “scam,” before the Clinton campaign announced they supported Stein’s efforts. President-elect said in an official Trump Transition statement, “This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount.”

Continuing, Trump condemned the recount, “This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.” On Saturday, Trump praised Clinton for her classy concession of the election, “The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘We must accept this result and then look to the future.’” Later when Trump found out about the Democratic support, he tweeted, “The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems.”

On Friday afternoon, Nov. 25, just before the 5 p.m. deadline Grenn Party nominee Stein raised $4 million, enough money to file in Wisconsin for a recount of the votes. In Wisconsin, she requested a “reconciliation of paper records.” Stein promised to the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states that Trump turned red but usually voted Democrat. Stein claimed the voting systems in those states were hacked.

Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias announced on Medium that the Clinton campaign would support the recount. Elias said they were doing this because of the “the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton” And the “hundreds of messages, emails and calls” from supporters requesting an investigation. Elias admitted, the Clinton campaign “quietly taken a number of steps” to investigate the results. In contradiction, New York Magazine reported this weekend, that cyber security experts convinced the Clinton campaign they had “persuasive evidence” that the votes had “manipulated or hacked.”

Elias continued, “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.” Still, the Clinton campaign intends to support all the recounts, “If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”

Stein maintains, she was not doing the recount to benefit, Clinton and even criticized her as a hypocrite as well on Twitter, “Why would Hillary Clinton-who conceded the election to Donald Trump-want #Recount2016? You cannot be on-again, off-again about democracy.”

The Obama White House does not believe any hacking occurred and dismissed the recount. A senior administration official told the press, “We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people. The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day. We believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”

The recount needs to be completed by Dec. 13, while the deadlines to apply for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania is this upcoming week. Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump beat her in the Electoral College, she would need all three states to flip back to beat him, and that is not going to happen. The margin of victory was close but in the double digit thousands. In total Trump won 107,000 more votes in those three states than Clinton, winning by a margin of 22,000 in Wisconsin alone, “Trump won 1.404 million votes to Clinton’s 1.382 million.”

Clinton has a lead of 2.2 million votes, “64,637,140 votes nationally, compared to Trump’s 62,408,908, according to a count curated by Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.” Elias touted those numbers in his post, writing, “And most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses… During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.”

Clinton is not the first candidate to lose the election but win the popular vote. Again, there are calls to change the system from Electoral votes to a popular vote, and some electors are even trying to defect from voting for Trump. Looking at the electoral map, it hard not to notice that Trump won the most regions and states, and the map is red compared to Clinton’s blue in just some major cities.

Clinton is acting like a hypocrite; she could criticize Trump all she liked when she was positive she would win, Clinton never imagined how it would feel to lose and how much of a sore loser she would be. The American public should not be surprised, Clinton did not want to concede in the 2008 Democratic primary against now President Barack Obama, and even this year, she balked at conceding election night although Obama asked her to, Clintons just hate losing.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 9, 2016: Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

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Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: ABC News

As the Republican nominee Donald Trump always said that the election was about his supporters the voters and making America great again, not celebrity surrogates or even party establishment support and he was right. On Tuesday evening election night, Nov. 8, 2016, Trump shocked the nation and world by winning the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and becoming the nation’s 45th president. Trump started off the night with a bang; he led and never looked back by the 2:30 a.m. the Associated Press called the election for Trump shocking pundits and pollsters and shaking the financial markets in what is being called the biggest upset in American history.

Trump began his improbable campaign on June 16, 2015, with many jeers but he soon took off in the polls as the Republican candidate to beat, but none in a field of 16 could surpass him. The Clinton campaign wanted Trump as their opponent, the Clinton machine saw the freewheeling businessman as the perfect contrast to the controlled former Secretary of State, while the polls kept repeating Clinton would win if Trump were the nominee. Clinton underestimated, she was dealing not just a man or another opponent but a force of nature larger than life to be reckoned with as the campaign descended into one of the nastiness and uncivilized in American history or at least modern history.

The polls who were Trump’s friend in the primary became his enemy in the general election as every move, word or missteps gained points for as he called it the media’s “angel” Clinton. Throughout the intense fall campaign period, Clinton was pundits, pollsters and predictors favorite to win the presidency. When Trump fell, with the discovery of a 2005, lewd “lockerroom” talk tape, Clinton soared, her numbers skyrocketed to the double digits the question became how big her margin of victory would be. Even an October Surprise in the form a resurrected FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server could not stop Clinton, as she could do no wrong and Trump no right.

Trump defied the odds and changed the whole presidential campaign game, he propelled himself to the Republican nomination, with his own funding and used the news media as his personal ad campaign ad, while the public flocked to his populist message and simple philosophy of making America great again. In the general election, the media turned on him, as did the polls, but he blended 19th-century campaign methods with 21st-century technology to create a winning formula, mixing raucous mass rallies and stump speeches with social media and Twitter outreach.

Trump was the consummate political outsider, whose campaign resembled 1896 Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold, mixed with the public fear of his temperament like 1900 vice presidential candidate turned President Republican Theodore Roosevelt that madman with only one life between White House and again as renegade Bull Moose of 1912. In the end, however, Trump was Harry Truman in 1948, the enemy of the establishment and press set to lose so much so that newspapers printed, “Dewey Defeats Truman” when Truman in the end was the victor, not his Republican opponent Thomas E. Dewey.

Trump was a one-man band that did alone and never relented when the Republican Party insiders abandoned ship refusing or going back on their endorsement just because he was not one of them. The GOP nominee fought back and remained unfazed as he words were twisted, overanalyzed, and he was portrayed as a sexist, racist and the end of the country as we know it. Republicans, Democrats, his opponent and the news media demonized him as he shocked them with resoluteness proclaiming that in the end he and his campaign’s movement of supporters Clinton called “deplorable” would be triumphant on Election Day.

On Tuesday evening, Trump proved them all wrong he not only reinvented the campaigning game, but the electoral map is flipping key battleground state after state red from blue. Before the Republicans had the Sunbelt and then the bible belt, now they have the rust belt. Trump won Democratic bastions of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, even turning Michigan red. The blue-collar working class revolted from the Democrats who abandoned them in droves for their savior the populist Republican promising to make right the wounded economy that never actually recovered.

Trump broke through Clinton’s firewall, proving there was a hidden Trump vote and he became almost the one correctly predicting, he would become the next president. Trump shocked almost every pollsters, pundit, reporter, analyst and academic that predicted and analyzed the campaign and election. They all wanted a Clinton victory so much their judgment clouded, and almost everyone was left with embarrassing egg on their faces from the excessive praise and confidence in Clinton, proving the adage one should never presume.

Trump showed the world presumption is a folly and in a democracy, the will of the people matters the most and the vote is the most powerful force. The candidate they most feared spent his first moments in the spotlight as president-elect with gracious words for his opponent, and overtures that he wants to be the nation’s uniter-in-chief rather the divider his opponents feared he would be.

President-elect Trump declared in his victory speech, “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” The president-elect is doing his part now the country has to come forward to meet him halfway. Instead of being, poor losers American citizens have to heal their partisan wounds and come together as the divided nation has done before in history to truly restore, reach its potential and make the country great again.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 8, 2016: Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

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Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Chicago Tribune

After more two years, the 2016 presidential campaign is ending. Late Monday evening, Nov. 7, 2016, into the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 8, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made their final cases to the American voters at their last rallies of the campaign cycle. The candidates held a marathon number of rallies during the last days of the campaign hoping to persuade voters in battleground states that they should be the next president. Clinton ended on a positive note, Trump a more negative tone as both candidates remained close in polls that showed conflicting results entering Election Day.

Clinton made her final rally in the ever more critical battleground state of North Carolina. Clinton spoke to 6,000 supporters at the rally held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where she had a little help from some famous friends, singers Jon Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga, who also performed. Clinton hoped to appeal to millennials to help put her over the edge.

Clinton alluded to Bon Jovi’s performance and biggest hit in her remarks. Clinton expressed,
“Well, I got to tell you this is sure worth staying you up for. And you know between now and the time that the poll closes tomorrow, we’re going to be living on a prayer.” Clinton, who ran a campaign made of attacks mostly on her opponent wanted to strike a more positive tone at the end of her historic campaign. The Democratic nominee wanted to contrast herself from Trump’s “dark and divisive vision for America.”

Clinton called on voters, “Tomorrow, we face the test of our time. So if you believe America thrives when the middle class thrives, then you have to vote… If you believe we should make the biggest investment in new jobs since WWII … you have to vote. For the last words of her campaign, Clinton concluded, “If you believe we need more fairness in our economy… If you believe in science … If you believe we need to reform our criminal justice system … If you believe we need to do more to support working families … Let’s go vote North Carolina!”

Earlier in the evening, Clinton “held her biggest rally of the cycle in Pennsylvania” accompanied by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, her husband former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Clinton hosted 20,000 supporters at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi performed. Clinton is keeping up with her positive message ending, apologized for the campaign’s nastiness, saying, “I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” The Democratic nominee pointed out the negative words coming from her opponent’s campaign. Clinton then asked supporters, “Let’s show tomorrow there will be no question about the outcome of this election!”

Obama gave a resounding endorsement passing the torch to his former Secretary of State. The President expressed, “We now have the chance to elect a 45th president who will build on our progress who will finish the job … who is smart, who is steady and who is tested. She will work, she will deliver. She won’t just tweet.” Obama asked voters “America, I am betting on you one more time.” The president a notorious and energetic campaigner, who loves the game, has been a top surrogate for Clinton making arguments in Florida and Michigan. While the First Lady who has been Clinton’s campaign secret weapon told the crowd, “We are one day away from once again from making history… This election is on us. It is in our hands. If we get out and vote tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will win.”

Meanwhile, Trump held his last of a marathon of rallies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Midwest state has not voted Republican since 1988, but Trump’s popularity with blue-collar workers has put the state in play. Trump’s simple but full rally contrasted with the caravan of celebrities that have performed concerts and campaigned for Clinton in the final for Trump it has always been the been the supporters who have stuffed his rallies in record number that have been the most important, as the nominee himself is a one-man band. Trump had “enthusiastic crowds in his final swing state rallies in “Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Michigan.”

Trump told his supporters, “We don’t need, we don’t need Jay Z or Beyonce. We don’t need Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t need Lady Gaga. All we need is great ideas to make America great again. That’s all that we need.” Despite a close race with Clinton slightly ahead in some polls, Trump remained optimistic telling his audience at a earlier rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, “I think we’re going to blow them out tomorrow in a lot of different ways, blow them out. No way.” In Michigan he told his supporters, “This is not the sound of a second place finisher, that I can tell you.”

Trump had what was supposed to be his campaign finale rally also earlier in the evening. Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire with his family, his three eldest children, who were his biggest campaign surrogates and his running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his wife Karen as well friend and most loyal and “ardent” surrogate former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. There were no celebrities present other than the candidate, but there were laser beams and a fog machine show and 12,000 loyal supporters from the battleground state. There Trump thanked his children, “I heard about the surrogates going all over for Hillary Clinton but I had my family I had the best surrogates of all.”

Trump’s final last minute rally in Michigan, started with a large crowd but as the early morning wore on the crowds dispersed. Trump remained negative to the end, as he needed to be to fight his opponent who has been acting as the incumbent backed a president with a renewed popularity. The GOP nominee declared, “Hillary is the face of failure. She’s the face of failed foreign policy.” Trump’s running mate, Pence gave the same warning earlier in the day at a stop in Minnesota, arguing, “In one day the American people can put an end to decades of Clinton corruption. You here in Minnesota can close the history books on the Clintons once and for all.”

As the outsider, Trump concluded with that message going to the core of what his campaign has always been about those on the outside of the political establishment. The nominee expressed, “The corrupt politicians and their special interests have ruled over this country for a very long time. Today is our Independence day. Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 6, 2016: New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet leads in polls

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New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet leads in polls

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is taking laziness and risking national security to a new level. On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, the New York Post dropped a bombshell; Clinton asked her maid in her house in Washington, DC to print for her emails and documents including classified docs during her tenure as Secretary of State. The NY Post is claiming their story comes from emails and FBI memos. The news comes just two days before the election as the race is close between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and just a week after the FBI’s Director James Comey announced they were reopening their investigation. Ironically, polls are still positive for Clinton with her lead growing in the campaign’s final days.

According to the report, Marina Santos is the maid at the center of the new controversy. Santos is a Filipino immigrant who works at Clinton’s home, Whitehaven and does not have or had a security clearance. According to the NY Post, Clinton had Santos print for her “drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” — background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.”

Emails show that Clinton routinely asked her staff and aides to forward documents to Santos so she could print them for her. Some of the examples include an unclassified email from 2011 where Clinton asked her longtime Huma Abedin, “Pls ask Marina to print for me in am.” Abedin is the center of the FBI’s renewed investigation where all of her State Department communications that were also on Clinton’s private server were uncovered on her estranged husband’s former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

There are also three other emails that are labeled as classified under the level of confidential in which Santos is referred to print items all come from aide, Monica Hanley. One from 2012 had to do with the new president Malawi, the other from the same year had to do with Iran both times Hanley mentioned Santos printing them, first writing, “We can ask Marina to print this,” and the other time “Marina is trying to print for you.” Hanely also mentioned a State Department fax in a 2012 email, “to see before your Netanyahu mtg. Marina will grab for you.”

The FBI’s investigation notes always pointed out that Santos had access to these documents by accessing the SCIF room (sensitive compartmented information facility) set up in Clinton’s Whitehaven home. The FBI wrote from their interview with Abedin, Santos “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton.” Some of the documents besides emails were “the Presidential Daily Brief” on national security issues.

Despite the revelation and Santos involvement, she has not been interviewed neither has her devices been subpoenaed by the FBI for review. The FBI never asked Santos to hand over the iMac she received the emails on or the printer she used. Santos also was responsible for downloading all of Clinton’s State Department emails onto the Secretary’s Apple MacBook laptop, and USB flash drive that has become conveniently missing throughout the investigation.

The FBI noted in the case summary, “The two copies of the Clinton e-mail archive (one on the archive laptop and one on the thumb drive) were intended to be stored in Clinton’s Chappaqua and Whitehaven residences,” and that it “does not have either item in its possession.” Hanley told the FBI the devices were lost, a sadly unbelievable excuse.

What is believable that Clinton may have had her maid print out documents. The latest batch of emails released by the State Department and uncovered by the FBI during their investigation were near duplicates that usually had a “please print” added to it. Clinton said she used the private server mostly as a convenience to use one phone for both her professional and personal emails, essentially admitting laziness. If Clinton was that lazy, she had to have her information stored on the State Department server, and have an assistant with security clearance print and fetch her documents, not her maid.

Despite these reports, and the renewed FBI investigation American voters still say they are voting for Clinton. Two new polls released Sunday give Clinton comfortable leads. The ABC News-Washington Post Tracking gave Clinton a 5-point advantage 48 percent support to Trump’s 43, while the NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll has Clinton with a four-point lead, 44 percent to Trump’s 40.

In the opposite spectrum the LA Times/USC Tracking which has had an essential tie between the candidate opens up to a five-point lead for Trump, with 48 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent. The most reliable poll in 2012, the IBD/TIPP Tracking has the race at a tie, one up for Trump in a four-way race with while Clinton has the one-point advantage in a two-way race. However, the election is a four-way race with voters inevitably casting their ballots for third-party candidates.

Why would anyone want to elect a president who is extremely careless with FBI investigations over their head and a Congress that is threatening impeachment? In a recent exchange on Twitter with former Politico reporter and author of “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” Jonathan Allen, he claims it is a “prioritization” about voters believing “Clinton is competent to run the country and that Trump is not.”

Being politically corrupt, however, is worse than any lack of readiness for the presidency. The two last presidents Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama were criticized for not being ready enough for the presidency. Bush resolved the issue by surrounding himself with experience advisors and very hands on Vice President in the form of Dick Cheney, while Obama learned the lessons himself with the help of a Democratic Congress.

Trump too can surround himself with experienced advisors, and he has an accomplished running mate in Indian Governor Mike Pence, a veteran of Congress as well. Trump will also have a Republican Congress backing him up. As leaks from the Trump campaign’s final days prove, he can learn to listen and restrain himself. Maybe the outsider needs a learning curve, but at least he has never risked national security and classified documents as Clinton did as Secretary of State, indictment or not she was irresponsible, and that never makes anyone “competent to run the country.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 3, 2016: Trump asks early voters to change their ballots on Election Day and how to do so

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Trump asks early voters to change their ballots on Election Day and how to do so

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Wikimedia Commons

With momentum and the White House in sight, Republican nominee Donald Trump is appealing to voters who cast their ballot early in six states that can change their mind on Election Day and vote him. On Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, 2016, Trump pitched to voters who cast their ballots early for his opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton; they can still change their minds after “buyers’ remorse” and vote for him on Election Day. Trump followed his call on Wednesday morning, Nov. 2 with a message on Twitter. The GOP nominee is making aware of the little-mentioned perk in those states that allows changing their votes if they want.

On Tuesday evening, speaking at his rally Eau Claire, Wisconsin Trump let voters in the state know they can vote again and change their minds on which candidate they want in the White House. Trump spoke specifically at Democrats and a lesser extent independent voters, telling them, “This is a message for any Democratic voter who have already cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton and who are having a bad case of buyer’s remorse. In other words you want to change your vote.” The rule applies to early and absentee voters. On Wednesday morning, Trump repeated his message taking to his favorite medium Twitter. The GOP nominee wrote, “You can change your vote in six states. So, now that you see that Hillary was a big mistake, change your vote to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

With the campaign at a dead heat, Trump is looking to continue to benefit from the fallout of the FBI’s renewed investigation into Clinton private email server as Secretary of State. On Friday, Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct. 30. Comey has faced praised from Trump’s campaign but criticism and attacks from Clinton her campaign and Congressional supporters and now President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter.

Most Americans voted early when Clinton was leading by the double digits at the height of Trump’s scandal. At the beginning of October, Washington Post uncovered a 2005 tape with Trump bragging about groping women because of celebrity status, and his failed attempt at an affair with a married woman. Afterward, 12 women came forward and accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior mostly unwanted kisses and hugs.

The revelations nearly destroyed his campaign, lost his Republican endorsement and his numbers in the polls tanked. With Clinton and the FBI in the forefront after their bureau’s October Surprise Trump has rebounded and now ties Clinton nationally and is leading in some critical battleground states. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Saturday, Oct. 29, Clinton led in early voters, with 15 percent more voters than Trump. The University of Florida’s United States Election Project determined that 19 million Americans already voted before the FBI’s news broke and that amounted to 20 percent of the population.

Some states give voters the chance to revise their vote if they change their minds. In addition to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Mississippi all have laws that allow voters to change their minds and cast their vote again, however, in each state the rules are different.

In Wisconsin, voters have the right to three ballots absentee or early poll voters can vote again and cancel their previous votes. In Minnesota, voters have up to a week until the Tuesday evening before the election, to cancel their last ballot. In Pennsylvania, early voting is only done by absentee ballot, and if they show up and vote on Election Day, the last vote is canceled.

In Michigan, early voting is also only by absentee ballot, but voters have to visit the clerk’s office by Monday before Election Day before the end of the work day to get a new ballot if they want to change their vote. In Mississippi, showing up on Election Day and voting cancels their previous absentee vote. While in Connecticut voters also have to vote on Election Day but they have to request that their previous absentee be canceled.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.