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

Top Crazy Republican Things

Sometimes, you have to be reminded of the funny and cringy things in life. Ever thought about how republicans have changed the internet? Things like websites offering best crossbows , $30 maga hats, and online gun stores.A recent study in mid-2017 showed that about one-quarter of Millennial had left the party during the past year. There are various reasons but there have been some off-the-way actions of the Grand Old Party that party explains this trend. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones:  
  1. Online Gun Stores
Even after the number of gun-related mass shootings in the US in recent years the GOP-controlled Congress has made it easier than ever for people to buy guns. Following the recent Las Vegas mass shooting that was the deadliest in modern US history GOP lawmakers blamed Democrats for politicizing the issue of gun control. They also argued that current gun laws should be enforced better. ?Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued that more law enforcement was required to stop killers and madmen. Meanwhile, John Kennedy (R-LA) stated the shooting wasn’t a justification for putting limits on gun sales. The GOP has received criticism for sponsoring a US bill to make the buying of silencers easier. In fact, the law is about boosting the access of Hunters to federal lands. However, the silencer provision  was added due to Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). He argued that silencers only suppress the sound of guns instead of actually silencing them.. However, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) criticized the GOP for not taking any legal actions to limit gun sales. The US Senator has been a long-time critic of so-called “bump stocks.” One of the big issues after Stephen Paddock’s Las Vegas mass shooting was the issue of the sale of bump stocks, which can turn non-automatic guns into fast-shooting ones without using an automatic weapon. The products had already become hot-selling items of online retailers. Many such sites stop selling the units immediately after the Las Vegas shooting. However, they started appearing again later. Official in federal law enforcement reported that Paddock had bought several weapons at a gun shop in Nevada.  
  1. $30 MAGA Hats
One of the main fund-raisers of President Trump during the 2016 campaign was his “Make America Great Again.” One criticism is about the $20 hats made in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam that were sold by street vendors during the inauguration in January. The irony is that while the slogan claims Trump can supposedly return the world’s only superpower to greatness. However, if the fake hats are made in such developing countries it’s actually benefiting the economies and workforces in those nations. However, another key issue is the manufacturing costs are also much lower in those countries. During the 2016  campaign one of Trump’s campaign promises was to return manufacturing jobs to the US. This is another irony since the jobs of manufacturing the fake campaign hats were shipped to foreign countries. Some Trump supporters were  upset to learn the hats sold by street vendors were made abroad. The officials hats sold on Trump’s official campaign site are in fact made in the US. They range in price from $25 to $30 based on the labels inside the hats. During the inauguration some Trump supporters didn’t mind the fact the hats were made in foreign countries since they could save up to one-third the cost of the official hats. However, others were surprised to learn the knock-off  hats were actually improving the economics of other countries.  
  1. Trump-Mocking Twitter Account
Last year the Ohio Republican Party created a Twitter account that indirectly mocked Trump. That’s because the twitter account mocked the Ohio director for the Trump campaign. The account was later deleted. The account was a parody Twitter account and was created after the Trump campaign broke its relationship with the Ohio GOP Party Chairman Matt Borges. Borges stated creating the account was a bad decision that was made without considering the action thoroughly. It showed that Trump been battling the Ohio state party for quite a while. The reason is it was closely linked to the state’s governor John Kaisich who was a major Trump critic. Borges also referred to the mistake of the ORP Executive Director who created the account. He referred to the “mistake” of Katie Eagan and defended her in an email that was sent to Ohio’s central committee members. Borges also defended various interviews with state/national media about his personal relationship with Trump. He also shared advice he had given the GOP presidential candidate. Borges also shared that his family had received threats of violence following the incident. Borges stated that the Trump campaign’s strategy had been to divide Republicans and attack anyone who was unsure about how they would vote in the November election.

Have Democrats Made Progress?

Democrats were hoping for big results following multiple losses in special elections after the 2016 presidential election. Here were some of the key results from the 2017 elections:
  1. Democrats

Following the 2016 election it seemed like the party was in serious trouble. In fact, the party’s liberal and centrist wings were still at odds. The party came close in several special elections but was unable to flip any of them including a key one in Georgia. In many ways it was a continuation of the 2016 election since the Democratic Party was clearly against Donald Trump. However, the party and its leaders were still unable to define what they stood for. The Democratic brand seemed to be back on track after the 2017 elections. For example, Murphy and Northam were often criticized for not being exciting enough to boost turnout on election day. However, they both won decisive victories. However, it wasn’t just top-of-the-ticket Democrats who did well during the election. Democrats have a chance to take the House of Delegates in Virginia based on the outcome of ongoing recounts. Few political experts had projected that would be the outcome of the election. The victories were also diverse including the state’s first two Latina state legislators and the nation’s first openly transfer state legislator. The Democratic winners also were on different areas of the political spectrum ranging from conservative to democratic-socialist.
  1. Governors

Democrats won big in two governors’ races that took place in Virginia and New Jersey. The biggest win was in Virginia where Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie after many pundits were picking Gillespie to win after running multiple negative ads. The election was seen as a critical one not only for Virginia but also for the US. In many ways it was a referendum on the Trump presidency. Republicans hadn’t lost any House special elections since the 2016 election but it was unclear whether the unpopular president would have an effect on state-wide elections like the one in Virginia. If Northam won it would show that Trump was having a negative effect on the GOP and especially in highly competitive races. In the final days of the campaign the GOP candidate tried to portray Northam’s policies as extreme but it didn’t stick in part due to Trump’s low approval ratings. A Northam win would also show the power of the grass-roots movement to get them elected and its effect on the statehouse races. Meanwhile, winning the election would also help Democrats recruit good candidates for the mid-term elections next year. A loss would make it tougher after a string of losses during House special elections. However, if Gillespie won it would show that Gillespie had successfully used reactionary methods to link Northam to criminals and gangs. It would likely result in more GOP candidates using the same negative campaigns next year. Many of the tactics were used by Trump during the 2016 election and were effective in shifting the public’s attention from discussion on various key issues. There was also the chance that a loss would be devastating for Democrats’ hopes of winning key elections next year. The belief would be that giving the campaign an anti-Trump tone would actually motivate his president’s supporters. Democrats tend to perform better when turnouts are high, which was evident in the 2016 election when many voters were unhappy about both the Republican and Democratic candidates. In New Jersey Phil Murphy easily defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno as Chris Christie left the governor’s mansion with a rock-bottom 15% approval rating. This flipped the governor’s mansion back to the Dems after Christie’s involvement in “Bridgegate.” It was an interesting election because Murphy ran a campaign that focused on a progressive agenda including more public school funding at a $15 minimum wage. Murphy was a former investment banker as well as an ambassador to Germany. His opponent Guadagno had to deal with Christie’s popularity, which made it tough to raise funds. Christie was twice elected as New Jersey’s governor. However, he earned record-low approval ratings after running for president in 2016 and being involved in Bridgegate. The situation involved the lane closure of the George Washington Bridge. A staff member of Christie took steps to make traffic jams in New Jersey by shutting down lanes on the bridge. It was theorized that the lanes were closed to attack the Fort Lee Mayor after he didn’t support Christie for his 2013 gubernatorial election. Several of Christie’ appointees were then investigated. Many of Christie’s associates were found guilty of various accusations after a federal investigation. Bridgegate had a major effect on Christie’s presidential campaign and resulted in him dropping out of the presidential race after the New Hampshire primary.
  1. VA House of Delegates

Democrats did better than expected in Virginia’s house of Delegates races. The Republicans still hold a slim 51-49 edge with multiple requests for recounts. However, few experts had projected Democrats would become so close to taking the House of Delegates. Victories included a win by the US’ first openly transgender person. In the statewide elections the Republican brand was toxic. There’s some debate about whether such elections are precursors of results for the next midterm elections. However, it shows that Democratic voters in VA are energized and could be a major issue as Democrats attempt to win back the House of Representatives in 2018. Many experts had projected it was likely in 2016 but could be more likely after two years of Trump’s presidency.
  1. Ralph Northam

Northam not only won but did so after many pundits projected he could lose. He was the front-runner for several months. However, in the weeks leading up to the election many pundits projected that Northam could lose the election. The various criticism included that he didn’t have enough charisma, avoiding his response to Gillespie’s anti-immigration attacks, and that he would blow the election like Hillary Clinton did during the year before. However, Northam proved the pundits were wrong. He out-performed Clinton’s 5-point victory in Virginia in 2016. He showed that he was a stronger candidate than many pundits argued and was able to take the right steps to win the election.