Does Trump’s Acceptance of the Voter’s Decision Matter?

Does Trump’s Acceptance of the Voter’s Decision Matter?

The mechanics of counting the votes, appointing the electors, and adding them up is determined exactly by law, and produces a winner. This takes place independent of the oversight or notification of any of the candidates, or their approval or acceptance. If some state’s results are within 0.5%, recounts are allowed, if needed. Mandatory recounts will be paid for by the state’s, and optional recounts can be paid for by anybody. If it comes down to a single very close state, as in Florida in 2000 in the Gore-Bush election, there will obviously be a contested recount, again with little direction from the candidates. Whether a candidate wishes to accept the results does not matter, a President is chosen by the process.

If Trump still does not “accept” the results, he will be considered differently by the different voting factions. Democrats, Independents and third party voters will consider him a sore looser, and question his commitment to the democratic process, as they do now. Republicans who voted for Trump only out of party loyalty or out of believing the continuing anti-Clinton rhetoric, may well also consider him a sore looser.

Most enthusiastic Trump supporters already consider that the election process will be fixed, and fixed against Trump. We have already written about how Republicans have “fixed” the vote in their favor by discriminatory voter ID laws, by banning felons, who are mostly blacks, from voting in the Southern states, by making polling booths scarce in inner cities, and by gerrymandering in Republican states. The ruling for unlimited PAC donations in Citizens United was supposed to help Republicans, but has failed Trump.

Considering the conviction of fixing by Trump supporters, nothing is really gained for Trump or his supporters by Trump’s refusing to accept the results. Trump’s growing conspiracy theory against him includes most of the media, international bankers, banks that refused to loan him money, women testifying against him, etc. (In ordinary people, this is called paranoia.). He does not have to convince his supporters, since for decades the Republican Party and Fox News have been telling them that government and the Democratic Party can never do anything right, and is always conspiring against them. Everything is a plot to just take their guns away from them.

After a year and a half of Trump tossing aside all polite, politically correct, and conventional political norms, what difference does it matter if he continues in this tradition. Trump uses the “suspense” of his results to keep the networks monitoring hours of his rallies, as they have his other phony announcements. Trump’s non-acceptance can keep his followers tuning into whatever network he establishes after the campaign, following his tweets, buying his hats, and staying at his hotels to make up for all of the people who have decided to avoid them.

If Trump really does reject the election results, the Republican Party and its representatives will be embarrassed.   But, in any case, they will have to contend with many of their followers being Trump populists and blue collar workers, rather than representatives of the rich business class, banking class, and fossil fuel magnates.  The Republicans have to face a desire for tariff barriers, with the many free trade agreements that they have backed.

Republicans also know that if they lose the Senate now, they will lose one Supreme Court replacement, but they have to retake the Senate in two years to cover any more openings.  To do so, they will have to expand the Republican registration to the same groups that Trump has been turning away.

Posted in 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Voting Rights | Leave a comment

Republican Voters’ Dilemma in Swing Senatorial Candidates

Republican Voters’ Dilemma in Swing Senatorial and Representative Candidates


Republican Senators and Representatives who are in a swing state or district election have had a hard choice to make, especially this weekend, as to whether to stick with the now Creepy Donald Trump, or to back out of their endorsement of him. Clearly there are two aspects of their decisions, their personal integrity and perhaps religious beliefs, and the plain calculation based on voter preference.


If the Congressmen stick to the slimy Trump, they will keep their dedicated Trump supporters, but risk losing independents, or risk losing marginal Trump supporters who seem to be defecting from him rather rapidly. The NBC/WSJ poll released today, Oct. 10, taken after creepy Friday, but not Monday’s second debate, shows Clinton with an 11-point lead at 46%, and Trump down to 35%, in a four way poll.


Some interviewed Trump supporters in the swing states are currently saying that they will not vote for a candidate that will abandon Trump, in his moment of needing to crawl out of the swamp, which he dove back into with the surprise Bill Clinton shaming. Trump has essentially asked his supporters to not vote for defecting candidates, by predicting that defecting candidates would lose their elections.


The real point of this article is that it is not in Trump’s interest as a President to lose the Senate, which could easily happen if Republican Senate candidates in swing elections lost Trump voters’ support. The only way the Republican voter’s defection from their Senate candidates would be in Trump’s interest, would be if he knew he was going to lose, and wanted to take the defecting candidates down with him. For Trump to govern with a hostile Senate would not allow him to carry out his program of radical changes. Hence, the solution of the Republican’s voter’s dilemma would be to continue to vote for even the defecting Senatorial and House candidates as well.

Posted in 2016 Election, Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics, Swing States | Leave a comment

Trump’s Off-Air Apprentice Tapes Are Now National Security Risks

Trump’s Off-Air Apprentice Tapes Are Now National Security Risks

The single “Access Hollywood” NBC hot mic tape from 2005 has seriously destroyed the projected image of Trump’s character, cost him important Republican endorsements, disappointed donors, given evidence of sexual assault crimes, and violated many laws against workplace sexual harassment at NBC. He and NBC might still be sued for any of these instances.

Twenty people have told the press that Trump committed sexual harassment on the set of the ” Apprentice”. The off-air tapes are said to more destructive to Trump than the single Access Hollywood tape.  There is a non-disclosure agreement with a fine of $5 million.

Update:   Oct. 10.  Mark Burnett, producer of the Apprentice has said that he is not going to sue anyone for release of the tapes or transcripts, and that he supports Democrats, not Trump, as earlier stories had said.

Obviously, anyone who has possession of a tape or computer file of the tape, would be able to blackmail Trump and force him to be friendly to a country which is our enemy, or to a foreign dictator. He might even be forced to hire an agent of a foreign country to his administration or say, as his campaign manager.

Similar to the treatment of Clinton’s emails on her private server, all of the original off-air Apprentice tapes and any copies of them have to be immediately impounded by the FBI. All of them must be examined, and any instances of workplace sexual harassment or references to any sexual harassment crimes must be catalogued, reported on publicly by the FBI for indict-ability, as was done in Clinton’s case, reported to the Department of Justice, and investigated by the Senate or House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, and eventually made public on a government web site. If there is even a single sexual harassment crime on the tapes, and if Trump becomes President, the House must file for impeachment of the President, as happened to Bill Clinton.

The National Security Risk is much more directed to Trump here, than in the Anthony Wiener sexual harassment case, who was only connected to candidate Hillary Clinton through his wife Huma Abedin, who is Clinton’s aide. Clinton went to the candidates’ security briefing by herself, and would not have been allowed to tell Ms. Abedin any classified information. Trump himself went to the security briefing, although he brought along Lt. General Michael Flynn, a reporter for Russian propaganda agency Russia Today. The Trump campaign made a big deal out of the Anthony Wiener sexting as a national security risk, even though none directly existed. In Trump’s off-air Apprentice case, the blackmail security risk is direct, and the FBI should take the above security steps.

Posted in 2016 Election, Clinton, Donald Trump | Leave a comment

Prof. Mark Petracca, UC Irvine, “When Will It Be Over? Presidential Election of. 2016”

Prof. Mark Petracca, UC Irvine, When Will It Be Over? Presidential Election of 2016

Prof. Mark Petracca of the UC Irvine Dept. of Political Science and Associate Dean of the School of Social Sciences gave the UCI Forum on October 5, 2016. His talk was titled “When Will It Be Over? Presidential Election of 2016″.

It was a humorous and politically motivated talk to an audience of 150 educated attendees. He says that with this election, we need group therapy or an exorcism. His jokes sound much better when he says them, so I will concentrate on the political science.

He reminded us of the old song “Who’s Sorry Now”, who’s lyrics he read and which could be relevant now. They could be relevant to Joe Biden, who might wish now that he had run, or to Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, or to the American public in the future.

He mentioned the VP debate last night where Gov. Pence had constructed a phantom running mate.

The good thing about this election is that we have the first female candidate for President. On the other side, we have the nomination of the first Presidential candidate with no government experience. It is odd that both have negative ratings of around 70%. They are making President Obama look good by comparison, and his ratings are now greater than 52%.

It is normally very difficult for a party to win a third term in a row, but it might happen this time. Also, four or five Senate seats could flip to give a majority to the Democrats.

Going back to the Federalist Papers, he said our electoral college system was set up to avoid electing a President who only appealed to one state or faction. When around 2002, people were considering doing away with the electoral college, Petracca favored keeping it.

He recommended to track the polls. He said Nate Silver had Clinton at 276 electoral votes, to Trump’s 261, and in the popular vote, Clinton leading 46.4% to 44.9%. Of 14 polls, Clinton wins in 12, Trump in none, and two polls, Fox and the Fix, don’t predict Clinton or Trump wins.

Of some large swing states, Ohio has Clinton up 5 percent, North Carolina has Clinton up 3, Florida has Clinton up 3, and Colorado has Clinton up 7. The election is slightly closer than in 2012.

The Democrats have an advantage in having a structure in place to get out their voters.

In Petracca’s talk to us last spring, he gave six reasons that Trump might win the primaries: (1) (Not sure what he meant); (2) there are lots of contenders so Trump would not need a majority; (3) Trump is a media magnate; (4) Trump has a populist movement behind him; (5) Trump was self funded; and (6) Trump was the last vestige of white male power.

These are absent in the general election, but Trump is still getting the media attention. It is amazing that all the talk is about Trump, not Clinton.

He recommended the book “The Hillbilly Elegy”.

Prof. Petracca gave four answers to the question “Why Not Clinton”, meaning why is she unpopular, or what could the explanation be if she lost.

First, Hillary Clinton has endured 35 years of criticism, starting when she was First Lady of Arkansas. He said you could say that she has been “harassed” for 35 years.

Second, American politics is characterized by misogyny (applause by women). Men and women seem to want a man in the White House. This seems more true among young women.

Third, there is anti-dynastic sentiment, or Clinton Fatigue. The Clinton’s have been present in younger people’s entire lives.

With the electoral college giving all of a state’s votes to one candidate, you can now win with the largest 12-13 states out of the 50 states.

His conclusion was that Clinton could win.

In the Question and Answer segment, he said that Trump was really not bringing in new voters. He was bringing in Independents, who could now vote for a Republican, since there was not a viable third candidate for them.

To the question “would there be a Brexit surprise?”, he said our polling was pretty good. Some people voted for Brexit, thinking that it really wouldn’t win, who might have voted against it.

Clinton has inherited President Obama’s voters list that will help her get out the vote.

To the question whether America has a problem with women as leaders in general, he answered “absolutely”.

Asked why younger women were against Hillary, he answered that they have bought into the outlook that there is no problem for women in America to overcome.

He said that he does not think that the third parties will take Clinton’s votes.

Two states have proportional distribution of their electoral votes, Maine and Nebraska.

Will the voter registration acts have an effect on the election? Not really, since they are in red states already.

Young people are not into activism, because they have so much else that they are interested in.

The voter turnout percentage in caucus states is comparable to other states’ turnout in the general election.

He reminded us that political parties and primaries are not in the Constitution.

What could happen in the next five weeks? Trump might acquire a ground game (his son, Donald Trump Jr., has hired a data mining firm for this). Clinton might have another health problem.

For the income tax form release, he guessed it might be one of his children or an angry ex-wife (I argued against this in my earlier post on the tax form leak).

There might be more data released before the election (maybe hurting either side).

The talk was roundly enjoyed by all.

Posted in 2016 Election, Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics | Leave a comment

Trump – Stop Shaming “Nerds”

Trump – Stop Shaming “Nerds”

I have to emphasize that Trump’s shaming of women, immigrants, minorities, and Muslims is much more important to complain about. But even the experts, who are considered “nerds” in middle school or high school, need to complain about Trump’s shaming of them.

What triggered this article is Trump’s imaginary hacker of the DNC as a 400 pound teenager working from his bed or bedroom. The NSA and CIA are sure it was Russian hackers, probably because of the well known code that they use, which is also said to be sprinkled with Cyrillic alphabet symbols. First of all, such a teenager needn’t stay hidden, since he could get a well paying job with the above agencies.

Trump’s nerd shaming starts with his imaginary hacker being 400 pounds, which fits into Trump’s usual method of shaming overweight people. (By the way, Donald, you are no longer the trim playboy that you once were.). Trump then shames him by his not having a job or house of his own, but having to work from his bed or bedroom. I think that is in Trump’s mind, since that is where Trump may do his 3 AM tweeting from.

But wait, there is a lot more. Trump is implying that the Russians don’t have excellent hacking experts of their own, or the cunning to conceive of influencing the American election, at precisely the right time, with precisely the right embarrassing documents, that got Debbie Schultz fired, and stirred up Sanders’ voters. That implied lack of Russian capability could be taken as an insult by Trump’s faux buddy, Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

Where else does Trump shame experts? Where doesn’t he? Trump knows more about ISIS than the generals. Trump knows that the successful agreement to reverse Iranian progress on nuclear weapons could have been better, and he will abrogate it. It apparently did not contain enough Iranian shaming. Trump knows more than the CIA and the experts who gave him the security briefing. He also knows by their body language that they did not agree with President Obama’s policies, despite the fact that they had been trained not to show body language.

Trump knows more than the thousands of highly trained climate scientists, who are equipped with the best computers, satellites, atmospheric, land and ocean measuring equipment, that global warming does not exist, and is a hoax.

Trump knows that the scientific polls are wrong, and that only the conservative website online polls are accurate. Trump knows immediately that an attack is terrorist or not, before any expert investigation takes place. Trump is the greatest tax expert that ever ran for President, despite lacking such acknowledgement by anyone who has discussed taxes with him, or prepared his taxes.

Trump claims that he will solve all of America’s problems, despite not having plans to solve most of them. Trump knows that all trade pacts could be improved, so he will dissolve them all. Trump knows that the successful Obamacare has to be replaced, despite the fact that the Republicans have not constructed a replacement for it. Trump knows that Hillary is guilty, despite the fact that she has been cleared of any accusations dreamed up by the right wing. The FBI experts could not find indictable evidence, whereas Trump could have?

This compulsion of Trump’s to denounce experts in all areas smacks of “nerd” shaming on the middle school playground or high school lunchroom. That is where Trump’s social development seems to have ceased. Expert shaming does not continue into college, where students realize that the “nerds” are destined for high paying professional careers.

It is sad that Trump has this problem, centered in egotism and narcissism. It would be a great tragedy and danger to America and to all Americans if Donald Trump became our President and our Commander in Chief.

Posted in 2016 Election, Climate Change, Donald Trump, Health Care, Politics, Secrecy, Trump Taxes | Leave a comment

Who Leaked Trump’s Three Tax Pages?

Who Leaked Trump’s Three Tax Pages?

I am going to present this as a detective mystery, unveiling what I think are clues, and see if you come to the same conclusion that I am considering.  We will use Sherlock Holmes’ method of examining and eliminating all of the suspects, and if just left with one at the end, we must accept that one, no matter how implausible that is.

First, Trump is not in a 3 AM hissy-fit over the leaking. If anyone even frowns at Trump he always attacks.

Second, Trump has everybody sign a non-disclosure agreement of anything personal about him. He sues a leaker for hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump has not made any such threat this time.

Third, leaking a tax return if you are a state or federal employee is a serious crime, publishable by a year in jail.  The New York Times would probably not be punishable.  But a state employee might only have access to that particular state’s Trump tax return.  Sounds like an inside job in the Trump Organization.

Fourth, of all the 20 or 30 years of tax returns that could be released, only the year in which Trump suffered the $916 million dollar loss that justified his not paying any income taxes for 18 years was released.

Fifth, of all the thousands of pages that could have been released with perhaps damaging information about his charity giving or foreign lenders, only the front pages of three state returns was released, which did not have this information. The second pages might have had the banking information.  The first page of the Federal form would have had the charitable giving information.  Obviously, the leaker had access to all of the information.

Sixth, the tax preparer, Jack Mitnick, was contacted to verify their authenticity. Instead of hiding behind his non-disclosure agreement out of fear of fiscal annihilation, he readily verified the forms and even explained the two leading numbers of the loss being typed in separately, and off the regular line.

Seventh, Trump has not sued Mitnick for the shirt off of his back, much less all of the suits in his closet.  I thought Mitnick might have been Trump loyal, until an interview in which he stated that Trump was not a tax genius, since Mitnick did his taxes from the ’60s until 1996, and all Trump did was to sign them.

Eighth, the Trump puppets, Giuliani and Christy, were prepared with their scripts, calling Trump a genius for paying no income taxes, as Trump had hinted in the debate. Well, I’m sure that they get daily scripts anyway, so this is not firm evidence.

Ninth, even if Trump was a tax genius, he did not prepare all 12,000 pages of his tax returns covering his 524 associated businesses. There must have been hundreds of lifelong tax professionals preparing his returns, who didn’t need a genius to explain that losses can be written off over several years, which everybody who has ever filled out a tax return knows.

Tenth, the major newspapers have explained the special real estate developer’s tax breaks in simple English, and understanding them didn’t require an accounting degree or a genius IQ.  (Since Trump did not bother learning the Constitution or the bill of rights to run for President, I doubt if he read the tax laws or the returns either.) Since real estate developers have spent decades, along with their dads, in getting real estate tax breaks instituted, it’s sort of been ingrained in them since they were kids.

Eleventh, the envelope was sent from the Trump Tower. Why would a leaker leave such a clue, unless he was supposed to in order to verify the authenticity of the source.

Twelfth, after pounding Clinton for over a year for an insecure server, why did Trump not lock his top secret tax returns in a safe, to which only Trump had the combination?

Thirteenth, what was found out on fingerprinting the envelope or the forms themselves that were probably just xeroxed? Or on the DNA if there were stamps that were licked. Each Xerox machine has to have some unique stains or scratches, or slight distortions of characters, or lighting, or variations in ink. Have they found the machine that was in use? Why has Trump not called in the New York City Police, the FBI, and the IRS to find the source of the leak?

Fourteenth, Trump called the tax form theft a criminal act, which is sort of obvious.  Did Trump do this to hide the fact that it might not really be a crime?  It certainly verified that the forms were authentic, which may have been what Trump wanted.  After all, this is the man that claimed that President Obama’s birth certificate could have been a fake.  Why didn’t Trump deny the forms’ authenticity, if he didn’t want the information out there?

Fifteenth, there is the timing question.  Is it a coincidence that the forms were released just after Trump’s astonishingly poor debate performance, and after a week of rapidly declining poll numbers?  Also, after the debate in which Trump praised himself as smart for not having paid income taxes?  Could some Trump Organization insider have thought that this would get Trump off the hook from releasing the vast amount of information on his income and investments in all of the more recent years since 1995, as well as showing that Trump was a tax genius, and only following the law?

Sixteenth, some have speculated that it could be a disgruntled Trump child or ex-wife.  This is really unlikely, since their jobs, support, access to the empire, and eventual inheritance would be lost.  They would also be sued for violating their non-disclosure agreements.  They have also been indoctrinated during their lives to believe that Donald’s salesmanship is the key to the kingdom, and have even participated in some of his fraudulent salesmanship.

Seventeenth, it could not have been anyone on his campaign staff, since they must not be involved in his business side, and have no need to know about it.  Trump has guaranteed that as President, he will have no contact with his business, so he doesn’t need a blind trust.  Obviously he would not let his present and future political workers know anything about his business.  (By the way, I figured out why Trump has to Tweet at 3 AM and 5 AM, which is because that is when his handlers are not around to watch over his shoulder.)

That should be enough clues. What is your guess as to the leaker?

I would give you my guess, but I am afraid of being sued.

Posted in 2016 Election, Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics, Trump Taxes | Leave a comment

The Trumpian Vote Dilemma

The Trumpian Vote Dilemma

The classic problems of choice in game theory are called “dilemmas”, such as the “prisoner’s dilemma”, or the “farmer’s dilemma”. Millions of Republican voters who are not happy with having Donald Trump as their President, are facing a similar voting dilemma. This is also true of a number of traditional Democrats and new, young Democrats considering whether to vote for Hillary Clinton. I wish I were a game theory mathematician to give a comprehensive analysis to this problem. But I will give some initial investigation into the problem.

Republicans are very loyal, in my opinion. 88% of Republicans are now going to vote for Trump. The party needs to improve this to 93%. Nevertheless, many Republicans and Democrats are deeply religious, and very concerned with morality and conscience. Many are concerned with human rights and acting humanely. Many educated voters are looking for intelligent policies and choice of advisors and future cabinet members and political appointees.

So many Republican voters have the following choices:

1) Vote for Trump
a) Like Trump, he’ll make America great again;
b) Don’t like Trump, but want Republican policies and conservative Supreme Court Justices
2) Skip voting for President
3) Vote for Clinton
4) Vote for another Candidate, like Gary Johnson, the Libertarian

The value question associated with your vote is whether you are voting your conscience, as emphasized by Senator Ted Cruz at the Republican convention, or, are you voting your most intelligent option? Or are you doing both with the same vote?

I will not attempt here to argue against voting for Trump, since many of my previous articles are in that vein. My argument here is that choices 2) or 4) may not satisfy your vote by conscience or your vote by logic.

Clearly, skipping the Presidential vote or voting for Johnson takes one vote away from Trump, but does not add to Clinton’s total. But by adding a vote for Clinton, the voter increases the margin by two, or cancels somebody else’s vote for Trump.

If you really want to stop Trump then, you have to vote for Clinton. This is especially true if you are a conscience voter. If Trump gets elected and infuses our government with craziness, and makes political appointments of business and industrial lobbyists, your conscience will torment you every day of his imperial reign.

If you are a voter who believes in using intelligence, as much as you mistrust Clinton, you have to realize that a large part of the mistrust results from years of constant unfounded hype and fear instilled by conservative media. To the extent that Clinton continues policies close to Obama’s, you have to admit that Obamacare, and the recovery from the housing recession, have been positive developments. America will still be pretty much the same until the next election, when you will have choices of reasonable Republican candidates.

Posted in 2016 Election, Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics | Leave a comment

About One-Third of Americans Live in a Swing State

About One-Third of Americans Live in a Swing State

I was surprised to find that up to one-third of Americans live in the 11 or 13 closest states. Talks by political scientists had made it sound like a smaller minority of the public that were crucial to the election of the President. The graphs of voter leanings also make it appear as if a very small amount of electoral votes is in the balance.

Let’s start with the summary, for readers like me, who give up on long articles. For the 11 closest states, say by the NY Times and Upshot, there are 98.0 million Americans. Out of 319 million Americans, this is 30.7%. Sometimes, Virginia, with 8.3 million population, and New Hampshire, with 1.3 million, are also included, giving a total of 107.6 million population. This gives a population share of 33.7%.

We now give the swing states with their population, their number of electoral votes (EVs), and the current NY Times estimate of the probability leading candidate taking the state. This is written on Oct. 2, a few days after Clinton’s successful first debate, where Trump’s probabilities have declined. We list the states by population size, in millions. The populations are estimates for July 1, 2014.

State:        Population:   EV:  Probability of winning

Florida                 19.9    29    65% Dem.
Pennsylvania      12.8    20    82% Dem.
Ohio                      11.6    18     54% Rep.
Georgia                 10.1    16    79% Rep.
Michigan                9.9    16    84% Dem.
North Carolina      9.9    15    54% Dem.
*Virginia                 8.3    13    93% Dem.
Arizona                    6.7    11    75% Rep.
Wisconsin               5.8    10   76% Dem.
Colorado                  5.4    9    77% Dem.
Iowa                          3.1    6    60% Rep.
Nevada                     2.8    6   62% Dem.
*New Hampshire    1.3    4   88% Dem.

Despite close national polls, Clinton has improved to a 76% probability of winning, compared to Trump’s 24%. Before the debate, Trump had slowly risen to 30% probability.

In electoral votes, 156 are contained in the closest 11 states, and 173 are included in all 13 states above. Of the 538 total electoral votes, these are 29.0%, and 32.2%, respectively.

There are five very close states, which have been called toss-ups. They are Ohio at 54% Rep., North Carolina at 54% Dem., Iowa at 60% Rep., Nevada at 62% Dem., and the largest swing state, Florida, at 65% Dem. The total electoral college votes in these five states is 75, which is about half of the 156 in the closest 11 states. The five toss-up states have 13.9% of the total number of electoral votes. This is about 1/7 of the total electoral votes.
The Presidential candidates are obviously concentrating their rallys, ads, mailings, and phone calls into the five toss-ups, and then the eleven swing states. This concentration helps the candidates to save money, making them less dependent on large donors. They also tailor their policies and messages to those that are important in the toss-up and swing states. This is like the concentration of the candidates’ efforts and policies in the four February primary states.

Posted in 2016 Election, Politics, Swing States | Leave a comment

How to be Relevant Even if You Are Not in a Swing State

How To Be Relevant Even If You Are Not In a Swing State

There are 10 swing states that are being blitzed by the Presidential candidates. They are tracked on all of the polling sites. Some people are discussing swapping votes using families or internet sites. But there are many other ways that you can influence the Presidential vote and the other important legislative positions.

If you donate money to your favorite candidate, they will allocate the money to the most sensitive areas of the swing states to give a favorable outcome. Despite the influence of big donors, many of them are bypassing Trump, and smaller donations are adding up for Clinton also.

The Senate is crucial to advising and consenting on treaties and Supreme Court justices. It also is a check and balance on the very lopsided Republican House. Some of the key close Senate races are also in the swing states. You can also contribute to individual Senate races, or to your parties’ Congressional Election Committee. They will direct your contribution to the close races in which it will be most useful.

The large House Republican majority will take several elections to restore to a balance that can effect compromises to get things done. However, with Trump’s unpopularity, some fraction of Republican voters may sit this one out, making some districts closer than imaginable before. With Clinton’s unpopularity, she is expected to draw less votes than Obama did in some areas, again opening some districts up.

The Republican sweep of 2010, a non Presidential election year, also carried over into State Legislatures. With the 2010 census allowing new gerrymandering, many Republican Congressional districts and state legislature districts were designed to be secure. This is an election that can start to work back on that majority. In the next Presidential election of 2020, there will be a new census and an opportunity to remake the districts in a non-partisan way as California has. This could lead to more representative states across the nation.

We all get mailings from non-governmental special interest groups to bring about policies that we are especially concerned about. Most of these do lobbying to inform legislators and government agencies about benefits of meeting those special interests. Supporting such agencies is a useful way to help bring about progress in those issues. It also doesn’t hurt to email your representative on their website, send them a letter, or call their office. Such communications don’t have to be long or detailed.

With my concern that climate science be listened to, and climate change effects being mitigated and adapted to, I see one local race in which voters can make a difference. At UC Irvine, being next to the Newport Coast, we hear from many coastal conservation organizations, from many local researchers, and observe the allocations needed to stave off flooding and coastal erosion from sea level rise and fiercer storms.

There are two coastal districts in California that are represented by climate denying Republican Congressmen. One of these, the California 49th, North of San Diego, is represented by Darrel Issa. For a climate denier, it may seem odd at first that he is Chairman of the Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. But all of the Congressional committees dealing with Energy or Environment have been headed by Republican science deniers. It turns out that Issa is now in a close race, leading the polls by only 48% to 46% over Doug Applegate. Darrel Issa will be tough to beat, since he is the richest man in Congress, worth $768 million. But there will never be a better time to try. Another thing about Issa, he was formerly the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, that investigated Secretary Clinton over Benghazi, only to find that she did not bear responsibility over what happened there. Issa’s opponent is Doug Applegate. He is a retired Marine Corp Colonel, a lawyer, and a strong advocate of funding research in Southern California.

We see that there are a plethora of ways for voters in the 40 states that are not swinging to be very relevant in the Presidential election, the Congressional elections, state elections, and in backing candidates with special interests to those of the voters.

Posted in 2016 Election, Climate Change, Clinton, Donald Trump, Sea Level Rise | Leave a comment

THE TIMES World University Rankings for California Universities

THE TIMES World University Rankings for California Universities

We give the World University Rankings by THE TIMES for California Universities. We follow the name of the University by its score that determines the rankings, and which give the true evaluation for comparison. I know that there are many caveats as to what the rankings mean, but they are what they are. An equal sign before a ranking means that there is a tie at that ranking.

2. Cal Tech                 94.3
3. Stanford.                93.8
=10 UC Berkeley       88.9
14. UCLA.                   86.6
41. UC San Diego.     73.2
48. UCSB.                   71.2
=51. UC Davis.           70.4
=60. USC.                   67.2
=98. UC Irvine.         60.3
146. UC Santa Cruz  55.6
=165. UC Riverside. 53.4

Close to a tie are Cal Tech and Stanford. Then UC Berkeley and UCLA. Then UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and the University of Southern California. Next is UC Irvine, leading UC Santa Cruz, and UC Riverside.

Posted in 2016 Election, California University Rankings, Education, UC Irvine | Leave a comment