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No, the wacky Green Party candidate didn’t keep Danny O’Connor from winning OH-12

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The worst part about election returns is when major party supporters decide to blame third parties for their candidate’s failure. The most recent display is the exasperation from Democrats over the fact a thousand or so Ohio District 12 voters decided to go Green, instead of supporting Danny O’Connor.

Yeah…about that…

Here’s the latest vote tally from The New York Times:

Correct me if my math is off but 99,820 + 1,127 = 100,947 which is still less than the 101,574 votes for Republican Troy Balderson. Maybe Democrats are using Common Core-style math to somehow get the idea the Greenies who voted for the kooky Joe Manchik prevented Danny O’Connor from going to D.C. There is a rematch in November so maybe that’s what they should be preparing for?

Those trying to compare L’affaire est Manchik to the 2000 L’affaire est Nader in Florida are forgetting something: Green Party supporters aren’t likely to vote for Democrats. O’Connor isn’t the left’s new democratic socialist belle of the ball, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, with Vox calling him a moderate in their Ohio 12th District explainer.

O’Connor, the Democrat on the ballot Tuesday, doesn’t support any of the newly popular ideas within the Democratic Party — Medicare-for-all, abolishing ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and tuition-free college. He says outright, “We need to fight for capitalism.” He describes himself as a pragmatist from deep-red rural Ohio and is even engaged to a Republican.

He dismisses “Medicare-for-all” specifically as a slogan focus-grouped in Washington, DC. “Right now, people want to take away health care,” O’Connor said. “I have an opponent who wants to take away Medicaid expansion.”

Why would Greenies – who are some of the hardcore of the hardcore leftists – bother voting for someone they believed was a moderate? Especially since the party castigated Democrats in 2017 on accusations of not #resisting enough when it came to nominees by President Donald Trump with activist Laura Wells claiming “just enough Democrats are voting for Trump’s appointees to enable their confirmation…That’s not what an opposition party does.”

The Washington Post even discovered in 2016 there were plenty of Bernie Sanders fans who were going to jump back into the Green Party pool if he didn’t win the Democratic nomination.

“I’m all about who the candidate is,” said Ehrhart, 32, who left the Green Party to vote for Sanders. “If Bernie stays in, obviously I’ll stay a Democrat. If he signs up to be Hillary’s vice president or something like that, I’ll stay a Democrat. If not, I’ll probably go back to the Green Party.”

It’s not quite unlike how libertarians feel with the Republican Party. Yes, there were plenty of small-l libertarians who cast ballots for Republicans in 2012 and 2016. It probably depended on the candidate, their positions, and whether there was a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot. It certainly did for me. There’s still plenty of frustration, especially for libertarians who prefer an extremely weak government.

There are people who are tired of – or simply not interested in – sacrificing their own principles to vote for so-called lesser evil. That lesser evil could end up tarnishing one’s own reputation or causing them to sacrifice more and more of their beliefs to make sure the lesser evil candidate gets into power. There are plenty of people who are tired of seeing candidates and parties pay lip service to a certain belief – then betray almost all the voters who helped get them into office.

It’s honestly much more likely voters are tuning out to the messages of the major parties – and deciding to skip the ballot box – instead of casting a vote for the smaller parties. There is a duopoly with Democrats and Republicans, and the rules are put together to make sure no third party candidate gets into the debates. I’m not 100% sure what the solution is – outside of convincing TV networks to demand other candidates get in – or whether people will be even interested in voting for someone who doesn’t have an R or a D next to their name.

I do know it’s foolish to blame third parties for the failure of your candidate.

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Forecast: GOP now more likely to have *at least* 54 Senate seats next year than to lose its majority

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A nifty catch by Philip Klein, eyeballing the latest data from Nate Silver’s model (as of 5:15 p.m. ET). Check it yourself. Democrats momentarily have an 18.4 percent chance of gaining two seats and winning a majority next month. Whereas Republicans have a 9.1 percent chance of gaining three, a 5.5 percent chance of gaining four, a 3.2 percent chance of gaining five, a 1.4 percent of gaining six, a 0.7 percent chance of gaining seven, and a 0.3 percent chance of shooting the lights out and gaining eight (which would leave them one seat shy of a filibuster-proof majority, for what it’s worth). Add those up and you get a 20.2 percent chance of 54 or better.

Which can be summed up in four words: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Klein on the path to 54:

Though Republicans were always favorites to keep the Senate, their odds have improved in recent weeks, with three states in particular giving them a boost. Republicans are now considered “likely” to keep their seats in Texas and Tennessee and North Dakota seems ready to flip into the Republican column. Barring any other major upsets, victories in those three races would be enough for Republicans to keep the Senate — hence their 81.6 percent chances overall.

To get to 54, the most likely scenario would be that Republicans win the tossup states of Nevada and Missouri, and then surge to victory in Arizona and Florida (two races that are currently tilting Democrat, but well within range of Republican victory). Beyond that, they’d have to start flipping some seats that are currently considered “likely” to remain Democrat, such as Montana and West Virginia.

Eh, I don’t know if Montana and Indiana, the latter of which he neglected to mention, are all that “likely” to remain Democratic. They’re leaning that way, with both Jon Tester and Joe Donnelly clinging to three-point leads. But Montana hasn’t been polled in three weeks and the latest from Indiana has Donnelly up four but with just 44 percent of the vote. In fact, in none of the four polls dating back to August has Donnelly topped 44, suggesting that a lot of Hoosiers are thinking hard about whether to stick with the incumbent. It’s likely that the GOP will be disappointed somewhere on Election Night — Missouri, Nevada, and Arizona are all leading candidates — but going for one for two on Montana and Indiana seems doable.

Whichever way they do it, if they can get to 54 then Collins and Murkowski might well be nonfactors during the next SCOTUS battle. Flake won’t be in the Senate at all, of course. Trump really might have the arsenal he needs to fill a Ginsburg or Breyer vacancy with a conservative.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news, also from Silver’s model:

Click the link and add up the different probable outcomes and you’ll see that the GOP has about the same odds of holding the House as Democrats do of winning … at least 54 seats. They’ve got a 10 percent chance of winning at least 60. Gonna be a lot of subpoenas for Pat Cipollone to cope with next year.

There are no new swing-state polls as I write this but keep an eye on the one of Arizona that’s currently in progress (yes, in progress) at the NYT’s site, the Upshot. As I write this at a little after 5 p.m. on the east coast, they’ve compiled a sample of 299 people — not large enough yet to give us confidence in the topline numbers but large enough to make it worth paying attention to. Currently Martha McSally leads Kyrsten Sinema by four points, 49/45. If that holds through the end of the poll, it would be the second straight survey showing McSally ahead after trailing for most of the race. (The previous poll had her up six.) Stay tuned.

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Midterm 2018 TEXAS: Robert (Beto) O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz

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Texas is Texas.

You don’t mess with Texas!

Texans don’t want a far left US Senator who lies about his background and police records, DUI included, and abuses everything the Lone Star State stands for.

Senator Ted Cruz is up by at least 5 points — but that is not enough.

Cruz is a real conservative and an intellectual giant. He has the highest possible ratings from conservative groups as a sitting US Senator.


We can’t let him down.

His opponent Beto (really Robert) O’Rourke isn’t Hispanic but he is loudly PROGRESSIVE.

He is a phony.

He is a Democratic Socialist and would spell doom for our Republic.

He wants open borders, more rights for criminals, and an end to the petroleum economy.

In Texas?

Trump won Texas by 9 points.

Cruz should win reelection by at least that amount.

Recall Cruz not only voted for Judge Kavanaugh but he articulately defended due process and innocent until proven guilty – the very hallmark of western jurisprudence.

We need him; America needs his voice in the Senate.

There has not been a Democrat to hold statewide office in Texas since 1994!

Keep it that way.

Cruz is a star in national politics and a firm vote for our side. He makes America first! And he is the best advocate for Texas bare none.

Turnout is critical.

Cruz MUST win.

Make this viral in every corner of Texas.

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Pat Robertson: C’mon, we’re not going to blow up a key Middle East alliance over one little murder

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Lefties are marveling that a brand-name Christian conservative would be encouraging followers to look the other way at an assassination, but they’re forgetting Jesus’s parting words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount: “If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few eggs.”

Wait, am I misremembering? My youthful memories of the gospels are not the best. I think perhaps the savior’s actual parting words were “Velvet glove, iron fist.”

I mean, that at least sounds like Jesus.

Lotta mixed feelings about the evangelical turn towards hard-nosed realpolitik under Trump. On the one hand, the gripe about Christian conservatives used to be that they were forever trying to inject morals into the messy business of politics, made more uncomfortable by the fact that many millions of people disagree with some of their stances on sexual morality and resent their attempts to convert them into policy. Well, good news: Between Robertson’s take on the Khashoggi affair and the complete pass given to Trump on matters like Stormygate, there’s less moralizing than ever.

The bad news? I’m unclear from the clip below on how many murders Pastor Robertson would be willing to tolerate in the name of preserving the alliance and “$100 billion worth of arms sales,” as he notes in passing. Presumably his interest in the latter answers my question: Some of those weapons will be used to continue killing civilians in neighboring Yemen, as he doubtless knows. If Robertson’s willing to condone that in the name of checking Iran, naturally he would condone looking the other way at a lot of things, Khashoggi’s murder just one among them. Christianity’s nice and all but we’ve gotta live in the real world.

I honestly don’t know whether to call him a fraud or to salute him for taking a cold but sober view of the international chessboard.

There may be another reason why he and POTUS’s friends at CBN are rushing to provide cover here, though:

To some extent the Saudis’ problem is Trump’s problem. Right now Trump can afford to ignore the Democrats’ interest in finding out how much his and the Kingdom’s interests overlap. In three months, with the House likely in Democratic hands, it’ll be harder.

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