Republican National Committee

Today is Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into...

GOP announces July 18-21st for #RNC2016 in Cleveland

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee has selected July 18-21 as the official dates for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. "I'm pleased to announce the 2016 Republican National Convention will kick off on July 18," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  "A convention in July is a historic success for our party and future nominee.  The convention will be held significantly earlier than previous...

International Politics Meets Domestic Politics

Next week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before a joint session of Congress at the invitation of the Republican Party.  There are many reasons why this speech is unprecedented, but the biggest reason may be that this speech occurs smack in the middle of the Israeli elections...

Republic National Convention

New Las Vegas Arena Plans Announced

If the 2016 Republican National Convention is held in Las Vegas, this is where the gavel will drop. Arena partners AEG and MGM Resorts International unveiled renderings Monday of their $350 million, 20,000-seat venue on the Strip, showing exterior images evoking the Strip’s high energy and bright lights as well...

Why isn’t New York bidding for the 2012 conventions?

One type of renovation at Madison Square Garden will begin this summer when the Knicks try to sign players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh. Another type, one that will modernize the 42-year-old arena, will move into high gear next year with the first of three summer shutdowns. Each year, construction will start with the end of the Knicks’...

Nevada’s Lt Governor thinks #RNC2020 is more likely than #RNC2016

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is a long-range and positive thinker. Since 2006, he has worked on bringing the Winter Olympics to Northern Nevada, and he is hopeful about 2022. Now that’s long range. He’s working on bringing the Republican National Convention in 2016 to Las Vegas. Now that’s positive. Let me be frank. I don’t think that will happen. But it lays...

RNC announces Cleveland as the host for #RNC2016 (contingent on contract negotiations and vote)

Recommendation contingent on successful contract negotiation and approval from full RNC WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee announced Cleveland, Ohio will be their recommendation to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.  The RNC and Cleveland will now enter into exclusive negotiations on key details for the 2016 convention.  The Site Selection Committee’s recommendation will be presented to...

Democratic National Convention

RNC 2016

DNC arrives in Birmingham for #DNC2016 site selection visit

The site selection team for the 2016 Democratic National Convention comes to Birmingham today for a two-day visit to the Magic City. Birmingham is the first of the remaining five finalist cities that will receive a visit from the team, which will be evaluating the city's capability of hosting the...

DNC 2016

Redistricting Pennsylvania

Thanks Tmess2 for the great introduction to the Pennsylvania census numbers (and all the great census work overall). The first thing I'd like to say about the Pennsylvania census numbers is that Philadelphia gained population for the first time since 1950. The current population of 1,526,006 raises it back to fifth largest...

GOP Convention

GOP 2016 date is earliest since 1980

With a date of July 18th this is the earliest GOP convention since the 1980 Reagan convention in Detroit which started on July 14, 1980. It also the earliest of either major party since the Clinton Dem convention in NY which started July 13, 1992. Is going back to July conventions...

Ferguson in its Local Context

There are a lot of different angles to the Ferguson story.  On the one hand, there are...

Supreme Court-Preview of Remainder of Term

This past Friday, the Supreme Court returned from its Christmas recess with the January arguments scheduled to...

Convention News

Sunday With the Senators: Is all lost?

I wish I could be as optimistic as when I wrote my last projection in August, when my number was 53. I've seen the Saturday polls,...

Supreme Court Term 2014-15: Part 3

The first case is a returning case:  Zivotovsky v. Kerry.  This case involves a statute mandating that U.S. passports should show that the place of...

National Conventions

Convention Hurricane talk revisited

We've talked about weather affecting conventions plenty of times. You can see all of the posts from 2008 here. Last cycle a hurricane delayed the Republican National Convention and it was...

Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Could Hurt Conventions

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Charlotte N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx went to Washington this week with the same message: Don't let the partisan rancor over...

Latest Updates

State of the US Democratic Party in 2018

State of the US Democratic Party The 2016 US elections were a wake-up call for the Democratic Party. Donald Trump won the electoral college even though he lost the popular vote, and the former is how the US president is officially selected. Meanwhile, while the Democrats picked up 2 seats in the Senate and 6 seats in the House they were still the minority party in the Senate (52-48) and House (241-194). The Democrats did better during the 2017 elections, which resulted in the party winning US Senate races in Virginia and New Jersey. However, the 2018 elections have much more at stake. That includes all 435 seats in the House and about one-third (33/100) of the Senate seats that are at stake. The 2017 elections showed some promise that the Democratic Party has improved since the 2016 elections. However, the current state of the party includes various issues including the following ones:
  1. State Legislatures
One of the big events of the 2017 election was Democrats were able to make big gains in the Virginia House of Delegates. There are multiple recounts pending with Republicans holding a slim 51-49  lead. It was one of the biggest stories of election night because Democrats were given little chance of taking over the chamber. Democrats have been making big gains in state legislative elections recently. However, there’s a lot of ground to cover in order to take control of several of them. The situation has become more favorable for Dem since the election of President Trump last year. In tens of the races Dems over-performed the percentage of the vote they were projected to win. Part of the reason is candidate recruitment has become better since there’s a lot of interest in challenging Trump’s controversial policies. In fact, Democratic candidates are even performing better in districts were Trump won easily in November 2016. However, Democrats have an uphill battle. That’s because Republicans control both houses of 32 states and made a lot of gains during President Obama’s two-term presidency. Three of the statehouses are split. Another issue it will be tough for Democrats to pick up enough seats to make major changes to the re-districting environment following the 2020 Census. Another issue is Democrats have had trouble flipping seats during special elections following Trump’s election. It’s unclear what will happen before the 2018 mid-term elections. While Democrats seem to be energized there’s a lot of work to do in order to have a good chance of flipping several statehouses before 2020.
  1. 2018 Senate Seats
Another major challenge for Democrats is the number of US Senate seats they’ll have to defend in the 2018 mid-term elections. Democrats have to protect 25 seats while Republicans just have to defend 8 seats. Another issue is Democrats have senators up for re-election in several states where Trump won by double-digit figures. This includes West Virginia, Indiana, Montana, Missouri, and North Dakota. Democrats are also defending seats in states that flipped from Obama to Trump in 2016.
  1. Unifying Leader
The Democratic Party still doesn’t have a unifying leader following the end of the second term of President Obama. About half a day after Clinton’s loss to Trump the party’s House leaders had a conference call with other House Democrats. Many experts had projected Dems would take back the House but they only gained 6 seats. One of the criticism of the call is Democratic leaders didn’t seem to take responsibility for the losses. That included the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Many of the call’s recipients thought Pelosi should say sorry or admit she had made mistake. One of the main reasons was Democrats had lost the support of white working class voters in favor of so-called “limousine Democrats.” Pelosi responded that it wasn’t true the party didn’t care about the working class. She argued that Democrats have the right message but have to reframe it in order to win back the working class voters. However, Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) stated he thought it wasn’t right to use “happy talk” after Democrats picked up less than the one-third 20 seats they were projected to win. However, one on person faced Pelosi in the vote to pick the party’s House leader. That was Tim Ryan from Ohio’s 13th District who said Democrats got “wiped out” during the election in his region. He also argued that the party is “toxic” in the Midwest and South.Pelosi easily won the vote but one-third of House democrats voted against her showing that there’s no clear unifying leader in the party. It seems the party is going through a rebranding process but doesn’t have a clear leader that the vast majority of Congressional Dems is supporting.
  1. Governors’ Mansions
When West Virginia governor Jim Justice switched political parties earlier this year it gave Republicans a record-tying 34 governor’s mansions. The figure will drop to 33 when New Jersey governor-elect Phil Murphy takes office. However, it shows another uphill battle of Democrats since it’s tough to win governor’s mansions when the other party controls over half of the country’s state legislatures. While Obama was in office Democrats lost control of 12 governors seats. The figure was just 9 during the tenures of presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Dems also lost over 900 state legislative seats from 2009 to 2016.
  1. Obama/Trump Supporters
It will be tough for Democrats to combine the diverse coalition of Obama supporters and add white working-class Trump supporters. This will involve finding common ground with Republicans in some states. It can help to win over Trump supporters but could also alienate the coalition of Obama voters. A big issue is about whether the current electoral map is a sign Midwest Trump supports can be won over during his presidency, or it’s a sign the GOP will likely dominate the region in future years. There’s a chance states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa are slipping away from Democrats. This isn’t to say that Democrats can’t win in those states but they’ve all been gradually shifting from toss-up to red during past decades.

What actually happens at the Democratic National Convention?

What is the Democratic National Convention?

The Democratic National Convention is the political meeting of the Democratic Party to nominate the Party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. The convention also aims to set the goals or platform of the Democratic Party.  The conventions have been held since 1832. At the convention, delegates from all the 50 states participate in the selection of the Party’s nominees. The Democratic National Convention marks the formal end of the Primary election period and the commencement of the general election season. Democratic National Convention

When and where is the Convention held?

Since 1952, Party national conventions have been held in late August after the Summer Olympics. Last Year, however,  the convention was pushed to July, after the Republicans rescheduled their convention. The Democratic National Committee selects the location for the convention from a pool of interested host cities. Factors such as logistics, and strategy decide the location of the convention

The selection process:

The delegates are elected by different means, and State parties have complicated ways of choosing who they send to the convention. The party’s presidential nominee is selected in a series of individual state caucuses and primary elections. Two types of delegates – pledged delegates and superdelegates- vote at the national convention. The pledged delegates vote based on the state primary and caucus results. Their votes are confirmed for the candidate who is victorious in their State. Some delegates enter the convention unpledged to any candidate. The superdelegates were created before the 1984 elections, as a means for the party establishment to exert some control over the nomination process. Superdelegates include members of Congress, Governors, and even some former presidents. Unlike pledged delegates, Superdelegates are free to vote for anyone they choose. However, the superdelegates seldom vote against the popular choice. Before 1936 nomination for president required two-thirds of the total number of delegates. However getting that many votes were literally impossible and the rules were changed to a simple majority. The primary election season usually identifies a clear nominee or a front-runner. However, when a single candidate does not emerge, a brokered convention could be held. In a brokered convention nominee is selected through a series of ballots and bargaining between leading candidates At the 2016 convention, Hilary Clinton had 2205 pledged delegates, and the majority of the superdelegates went with the popular choice, and she ended up being the Democratic party’s Presidential candidate.

The platform:

The delegates also vote on the party’s platform which is often a statement of principles and goals. This also sets the rules for the party’s electoral rules. The platform outlines the public policy goals and proposals. These are often referred to as planks and are generic. Occasionally something specific may find a place in the statement to appease a section. At the convention party activists hold meetings or rallies and lesser-known leaders deliver addresses during the day. Significant speeches by notable leaders are held in the evening.

Looking Ahead:

The Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly in favor of changing the superdelegate system wherein majority of the superdelegates will be bound to vote in line with the primaries result. This reform is expected to be brought in before 2020.