Yes, it is pretty much a done deal now. The nominees for three different parties are set, with only one choice a bit more palatable than the other two. That choice also doesn’t have much of a chance of actually winning, but hey – at least those of us who choose to cast a vote for President will have a real “protest” vote option. That said, hope springs eternal that something major will happen at the Conventions, and the United States will not be overtaken by either a criminal pushing neo-Socialist ideals or by a lunatic (who may also be a criminal) who changes his mind with a whisper of a breeze. (Media above courtesy of a Facebook friend.)
I cannot help but think about what a difference eight years makes. It was because of my support for Hillary Clinton that I began blogging in the first place. I was so sure she really was who she said she was, and still think she was vastly more experienced than Barack Obama was, and would have done a better job than he has done by a longshot. Yes, that campaign season was an eye-opening election for many of us as we realized that the Party to which we had given our allegiance was not the Party we thought it was, not by a long shot. And now, with its push for Socialism and abusing the Constitution on a regular basis, it is clear that we didn’t leave the party – it left us. It is heading down a rabbit hole many of us refuse to follow. So yeah – the person she claimed to be then is a far cry from the person she claims to be now. It is bittersweet, then, that she has now essentially secured the Democrat nomination.
What a crazy year. Professor Larry Sabato from the Center for Politics at UVA has a good post on where we are now. I don’t want to read too much into what he writes, but he seems to be as incredulous as others of us at who is the presumptive Republican nominee. Then again, it is hard NOT to be incredulous at the very least. Sabato writes:
However, while Clinton won a majority of the pledged (elected) delegates, her majority amongst all the delegates rests on support from superdelegates, who overwhelmingly back her and are made up largely of establishment-style officeholders and party leaders. This reality, which was also the case for Barack Obama in his much narrower 2008 victory over Clinton, has left the door open for Sanders potentially to hold out until the floor vote at the convention. While it is technically possible for the party’s superdelegates to switch to Sanders (or even another candidate) between now and the convention, it seems utterly unlikely unless something dramatically bad happens to Clinton, such as an indictment for her use of private email while secretary of state. Sanders otherwise has no serious claim to the nomination: Clinton won millions more votes and hundreds more delegates in the primary and caucus season. In addition, the superdelegates are part of the rules for this year. Like it or not, as we all learned as children, you can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.
From the largest field of candidates in modern times (a total of 22: 17 on the Republican side plus five on the Democratic), the two most unpopular major-party nominees anyone can recall have emerged. Each has an intense cadre of supporters, but most people we’ve encountered are unhappy with the choice — and that’s putting it mildly.
Still, the odds are as massive as Mt. Everest that either Clinton or Trump, the latter currently possessing the higher unfavorable ratings, will win the White House, even as the candidate offerings grow (though perhaps not by enough to truly impact the election).
Over Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarians nominated an experienced ticket, with two former Republican governors at the helm, Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts. A few polls put Johnson, also the 2012 Libertarian nominee, at around 10% nationally, and there is the possibility — not great, but measurable — that he and Weld might gain entry into one or more of the fall debates, assuming in this crazy year that a major-party candidate in a fit of pique doesn’t drop out of the scheduled debates. A third-party or independent ticket needs to be polling at least 15% nationally in an average of five surveys selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates. As we noted in a previous Crystal Ball,the Libertarians have never topped even 2% of the presidential vote, but maybe their moment has arrived. In effect, they could be the none-of-the-above line on ballots around the country, and their platform is a mixture of GOP philosophy (small government, low taxes) and Democratic social issue preferences (pro-choice, pro-gay rights, etc.) There’s something for everyone to like, and dislike, in the Libertarian agenda.
Normally, Libertarians appear to take more votes from the Republican nominee, but that may or may not prove to be true this year. Let’s see how this complicated contest sorts itself out. The Green Party, which is likely to again nominate physician Jill Stein as its presidential standard bearer, could also attract a small number of disaffected Sanders supporters. But other than Ralph Nader’s 2000 bid, which won 2.7% nationally and arguably cost Democrat Al Gore the election, the Greens have barely registered as a national presidential force. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t reading too much into Prof. Sabato’s writings after all. He seems incredulous at BOTH of the choices the two major Parties put forth, though he seems to have a bit more positive view of the Libertarian ticket. Honestly, I’d be happier if it was Weld at the top of that ticket since Johnson seems a bit loopy to me. Still, at least he doesn’t appear to be insane (Trump now wants to ban Hugh Hewitt from the Convention), and as far as I know, isn’t a criminal.
Sabato also mentions the desire for another candidate to step in, though time is running very short for that now. No kidding. Time is running short for the NATION, it seems to me.
Yes, what a difference eight years makes on so many levels…
This is an Open Thread.