Three Big Predictions for the Democratic National Convention

Photo credit: Jim Hutchison via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Now that we’ve all caught our caught our collective breaths after an exciting week in Cleveland, it’s time to turn our attention to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, which starts today. In anticipation of another eventful week, here are three predictions for the 2016 DNC:

1.) There will be no ‘Ted Cruz Moment.’

Look, the Wikileaks email release is big, it is, but even Bernie Sanders has gone on the record saying that he is not surprised by it. It’s best not to expect a thinly veiled “vote against our nominee” (which is now the plain speak translation of “vote your conscience” — don’t worry Senator Cruz, we all heard you loud and clear). However, the platform has definitely #FeltTheBern. Sanders got what he wanted in the platform language, or at least most of it. Since the primary season, Sanders has consistently said that Hillary Clinton was a better choice than any of the seventeen original Republican candidates. Now that Donald Trump is leading in the polls, Sanders will become one of Clinton’s most visible surrogates.

2.) Social issues and economics will be all over the convention.

As a way to reach out to Bernie Sanders after the email scandal, the DNC is likely to encourage that progressive economics underlie the theme of each speech given. Prioritizing helping out the bottom 99 percent, ending loopholes for billionaires, and other common Sanders talking points will be hit as often as the Republicans chanted “Lock her up.” On the other end, the Democrats will rally behind the rights of all people to use any bathroom, and other topical social issues (abortion, LGBT issues, etc.). Continue Reading

Report: Trump Benefited from Media Coverage, Clinton Suffered

Photo credit: flash.pro via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A blitz of both positive and negative media coverage played a large role in propelling Donald Trump to capture the Republican nomination, according to a new Harvard study out of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. The study analyzed the coverage of both print and broadcast sources, reaching the conclusion that “Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories.” Had Trump spent money on advertising equivalent to the amount of free media coverage he got, he would have spent roughly $55 million, the study found. Trump’s next closest competitor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, got just $36 million in free time by comparison.

Most of Trump’s media coverage (34 percent) had to do with his campaign activities and events, while 21 percent of it had to do with polls, and 27 percent of it was other miscellaneous coverage.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, independent Senator Bernie Sanders enjoyed the most positive coverage during the money primary, the report notes, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the most unfavorable media coverage, with over a quarter of her reporting time spent on the issues and over 80 percent of that time spent on negative coverage. Trump, Ted Cruz, and Sanders had issues-related coverage 12, 9, and 7 percent of the time, respectively, and Trump had negative issues-related reporting 43 percent of the time, while both Cruz and Sanders had negative issues-related reporting less than one-third of the time.

With the primaries now over, will the media continue to bolster Trump and damage Clinton? Continue Reading

Six Things More Likely to Happen Than “President Gary Johnson”

A lot of folks in the Twittersphere are weirdly obsessed with Gary Johnson. I don’t quite understand the appeal. He’s kind of a dork, and he has absolutely no chance at winning the presidency.

In fact, here are six things more likely to happen than a “President Gary Johnson.”

6.) Bernie Sanders Wins the Democratic Nomination

Hahaha, oh, poor Bernie! The fix is in. But don’t give up! You’re still more likely than President Gary Johnson!

5.) Mexico Pays For “The Wall”

Probably not. But still a much better bet than Gary Johnson.

4.) The New York Knicks Win the 2017 NBA Championship

Okay, not going to happen. But still more likely than America feeling the Johnson.

3.) Hollywood Makes Another Terrible, Awful, “Twilight” Sequel

Unlikely, but still a better love story than Gary Johnson and America.

2.) Lindsey Lohan Returns to Make “Mean Girls 3: The Reckoning”

Guys, stop trying to make Gary Johnson happen. He’s not going to happen.

1.) Donald Trump Wins the Presidency

This is definitely happening. Gary Johnson’s live reaction:

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe. Continue Reading

New Poll: Trump, Clinton Statistically Tied in Florida

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has significantly narrowed the gender gap in Florida, with both men and women supporting him over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 45-44 percent, according to a new survey released yesterday by Public Policy Polling. Overall, Trump holds a narrow one-point lead among the 737 likely voters surveyed, though this puts Clinton well within the margin of error of 3.6 points.

Still, this represents positive news for Trump, who, in previous polling, has trailed Clinton by as many as 13 points and has not led her in a poll since early March. The survey also reveals continued weaknesses in the Democratic Party, split by the scorched-earth-style campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, who, after losing California, was denied the Democratic nomination last night. Only 77 percent of Democrats surveyed said that they would back Clinton, while 14 percent said that they would back Trump. Meanwhile, 83 percent of Republicans said that they would back Trump, while just 9 percent said that they would back Clinton.

Despite Sanders losing the nomination, polls have suggested that he would do better in key swing states against Trump than Clinton. However, this poll shows Sanders would only be tied with Trump when including Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson in the survey, suggesting that third party candidates may be hurting Democrats more than Republicans, especially with a weak nominee in Hillary Clinton.  Only time will tell, however, whether Republicans and Democrats can unify around their presumptive nominees. Continue Reading

Trump’s Surge Continues: The Donald Pulls Ahead of Hillary in More Polling

From left: Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (credit: Gage Skidmore/Marc Nozell)

Two more national polls were released this weekend showing Donald Trump closing in on — and even pulling ahead of — Hillary Clinton.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Trump just three points behind Clinton in a head-to-head match-up, an eight-point jump from last month and within the poll’s margin of error. And an ABC/Washington Post poll has Trump leading Clinton by two points, an 11-point swing from two months previous. Added to other recent polling, the combined RealClearPolitics average now shows Trump barely leading Clinton nationally, a massive surge from just weeks ago.

Looking more closely at the numbers, one of the most noteworthy findings involves Clinton’s inability to win over Bernie Sanders voters. One out of five Sanders supporters in the ABC poll would support Trump over Clinton (versus 71 percent for Hillary), and NBC notes that only 66 percent of Sanders voters would support Clinton over Trump in its poll. While this could certainly change in favor of Clinton if and when she locks up the Democratic nomination, a continued struggle would present a fantastic opportunity for Trump, who could contrast his perceived outsider status with Clinton’s establishment insider image.

A number of battleground state polls were also released over the weekend showing slight leads for Clinton over Trump in Ohio (five-point lead) and Florida (one-point lead) and a dead-heat among both candidates in Virginia. The number to watch in these states moving forward will be that of the undecided independents. Continue Reading

Who Are the Real Extremists on Abortion?

From left: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton face off during an ABC News Democratic presidential debate on Dec. 19, 2015 (photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently made headlines for her extreme position on abortion. During a recent appearance on the The View, Clinton explained her support for Roe v. Wade by saying that an unborn baby has no legal rights and can be aborted right up until the moment of birth.

Not to be outdone, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said yesterday, “I think we should expand funding for Planned Parenthood,” America’s biggest abortion business. I guess that’s one big business the Vermont socialist likes.

But there’s more. . .

Sanders also said, “I will use the Department of Justice to go after” states that are trying to impose restrictions on abortion.

What kind of restrictions is Sanders talking about? Reasonable regulations that require abortion facilities to meet basic health and safety standards. Limits on late-term abortions. Parental notification laws. Sanders would use the brute power of the federal government to strike them all down.

Whoever ultimately gets the Republican presidential nomination should not be afraid of this issue. It is a gift!

It shows that the real extremists are not pro-life conservatives, but the pro-abortion, no-exceptions-at-any-time, leaders of the Democrat Party.

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

Clinton Collapse in Wisconsin?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I hope this is an outlier, because Hillary Clinton is an incredibly weak candidate, but the latest Wisconsin poll shows Bernie Sanders beating Hillary, 49 percent to 45 percent.

The outsider candidates (Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Sanders) continue to roll.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Trump’s Secret to Success: He Talks About the Economy

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The reason Donald Trump is winning is not because he is not politically correct, he always speaks his mind, or because he is an anti-establishment political outsider who never held elected office. The reason is: he talks about the economy.

From the beginning, Trump has been harping on anti-trade measures that would bring jobs to the U.S. and on stronger borders and enforcement mechanisms to combat illegal immigration. While anti-trade and anti-immigration may not be the answers for solving the economic malaise, Trump is the only candidate who has consistently brought up the economy as the U.S.’s number one problem. Ted Cruz went an entire two-hour debate without once even mentioning the economy.

Bernie Sanders also has hit a chord with voters because his campaign theme centers on the economic troubles of the middle class brought on by income inequality. Sanders shares with Trump the distinction as the only other candidate who has correctly diagnosed the number one problem in the U.S., the underperforming economy that has led to a lack of jobs and stagnant wages among America’s middle class.

Although stricter trade agreements and tariffs are not conservative solutions, there is hope that Trump will come around to a more conservative approach. As the media has pointed out on many occasions, Trump has flip-flopped on Obamacare, taxes, and abortion as he has learned more and more.

Trump’s detractors say he flip-flopped for political expediency, but his current policy positions could be genuine.  When Trump began talking anti-trade and anti-immigrant at the beginning of the race, no consultant in America thought that was a winning political strategy. Continue Reading

Who Would Be the Most Biblical President? Group of Pastors Rate Remaining Candidates

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Last week, a group of Alabama clergy released a set of ratings measuring the remaining presidential candidates — both Republican and Democrat — on their adherence to biblical standards for contemporary social issues that challenge people of faith. The group, called the Gate Keepers Association of Alabama and consisting of 19 to 25 pastors, has been meeting twice monthly since August to discuss political candidates and how they rate on a biblical worldview.

“We have dealt with abortion, same-sex marriage,” said Bishop Jim Lowe, Pastor of Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, Ala. “As gatekeepers, it our responsibility to not only teach congregations but protect congregations from the outside intrusion of government deciding what is right and what is wrong. We want to inform congregations of those threats that come against the church. We’re like watchmen on the wall.”

So how did the candidates rate? Alabama.com has the breakdown:

“Based upon our 0-5 Star rating system, with five being the HIGHEST probability that a candidate will exemplify a Biblical world view if elected President of the United States, our collective average rating evaluations for each Presidential candidate are as follows:”

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton, 1.88 Stars

Bernie Sanders, 1.71 Stars

Republicans:

Ted Cruz, 3.22 Stars

Ben Carson, 3.15 Stars

Marco Rubio, 3.03 Stars

John Kasich, 2.41 Stars

Donald Trump, 0.88 Stars

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

Bernie Sanders Comes Out as an Honorary Woman

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Just as people in Seattle are upset by the news a young man calmly entered the women’s locker room at a public swimming pool and calmly undressed before the aghast females, including a girls’ swimming team, Sen. Bernie Sanders came out to accept his designation as an “honorary woman” bestowed by Gloria Steinem:

“I consider myself a strong feminist,” Sanders told a young woman from the audience in a Nevada town hall. “And in fact, Gloria Steinem — everybody knows Gloria is one of the leading feminists in America — made me an honorary woman many, many years ago.”

“I don’t know exactly what that meant, but I accepted it when she came to campaign for me,” Sanders added.

The moms in the locker room in Seattle didn’t know exactly what it meant, either, to be an honorary woman. When they alerted the staff and the staff challenged what appeared to be a man undressing in their midst, he said simply that he had a right to use the locker room of his choice, according to the new gender-identity neutral ordinances. Police were not called. After he swam and changed again he left.

No word on whether Sanders intends to exercise his privileged gender status in Washington state’s taxpayer financed swimming pools. But gender is certainly getting fluider and fluider, isn’t it?

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

Continue Reading