Demographics and Elections Commentary tagged with Trump

1/19/2024: [New York] 'She's a killer': Trump eyes Rep. Elise Stefanik as a potential VP pick [NBC News]


We like her aggressive attitude.

Nobody should like her voting record in Congress.

She's been a complete squish through most of her career, and nobody needs to wave that off and bother pretending that it's because "Duh, sheez frum Noo Yawk" and therefore must automatically represent some liberal district in the middle of a ghetto (which would somehow elect a Republican???) or some demographically deteriorating soccer mommy/country club suburb in Westchester County.

Stefanik's district is at the far northern end of the state, far away from all of the above, and is solidly Republican. It never elects a Democrat.

Well, except for a couple of terms starting in a 2009 special election in which establishment putzes like Newt Gingrich tried to foist a left-wing Republican named Dede Scozzafava upon the area. A good conservative, Doug Hoffman, had the support of lots of voters but not the GOPe, so he had to run on the Conservative ballot line only. Her support dropping to almost zero (actually 5.7%), Scozzafava spitefully withdrew from the race at the last minute, endorsed liberal Democrat Bill Owens (thanks again, Newt) and took just enough votes away from Hoffman to prevent him from winning.

Other than that and the two elections which followed, when Owens somehow eked out two more wins before fleeing, you have to go back to the 1800s or earlier to find a Democrat U.S. House member from this part of New York. And you may not even find one then.

In this district Stefanik doesn't need to run shrieking hysterically to the left in order to get elected. But she does so anyway. Or at least she used to -- that may be changing.

Stefanik's voting record has taken a noticeable jump to the right in recent years, but that is not as impressive an accomplishment as it may sound; we'll explain below. In her first two terms (2015-2018) she voted the conservative position on key issues 37% of the time which is an abysmal rating for any Republican.

In her next term at the end of the first Trump administration (2019-2020) she improved to 58% which is somewhat less abysmal but still quite weak.

From 2021-2022 Stefanik voted the right way 73% of the time. All of those percentages are based on key votes as determined by the American Conservative Union (ACU). They have not yet released their data for 2023, but we here at RightDataUSA.com have identified 34 key votes from last year -- a greater number than the ACU normally focuses on per year -- and Stefanik grades out at 88% (!). She will probably get a correspondingly high figure from the ACU when they get around to calculating one for 2023.

Why is Stefanik's improvement not as impressive as it looks? During the Trump and Biden administrations, the Democrats have become more polarized -- and polarizing -- than ever before. They vote in perfect lockstep on nearly every issue except for when certain members are allowed to dissent for tactical purposes. In response most Republicans, even ones with long-term liberal tendencies like Elise Stefanik, have found themselves voting in opposition to Democrats as a bloc too.

As a result, Republican ratings have become almost as extreme as Democrat ratings. Nearly all House Democrats have conservative ratings near 0%. Anything even as high as 10% is rare (it's mainly those "tactical" votes).

Democrat polarization has been customary for decades and is not something that only began with Trump in the White House; their extremism gained momentum with the extinction of that species of politician known as "Conservative Democrat". Even "Moderate Democrat" is highly endangered and practically extinct now. Its population is down to a small handful.

But "Liberal Republican" and "Moderate Republican" have generally been as healthy as ever. There are GOP Senators like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Light Loafers Lindsey Graham who vote more with the Democrats than with their own party. Even Mitt Romney doesn't do that.

Such a thing as a Democrat voting mostly with the GOP is unheard of. No, not even Joe Manchin at his grandstanding finest; he's not even close to doing that anymore. "Independent" Kyrsten Sinema? Get real. Sinema voted 95% of the time with her fellow Democrats in 2023. She's a total IINO (Independent in Name Only).

However many Republicans are clustering in the 90-100% conservative range on key votes at a rate higher than usual. This is a very recent development and does not even go back as far as the Trump days. All of that notwithstanding, Stefanik is still quite an unusual case. It's as if she's strategically trying to position herself as a VP candidate by showing that she can act as a conservative if necessary.

Hers is not a normal progression for a member of Congress. A Republican from a relatively safe House district often starts out as an enthusiastic conservative bent on keeping the campaign promises he made. As time goes on the Representative normally caves in to the Uniparty establishment and moves to the left -- "going along to get along" -- otherwise career advancement is impossible.

Not only that, if someone sticks to his principles he is merely asking for disillusionment and frustration: frustration as he sees his legislative objectives watered down or failing entirely; frustration as he sees even his most patriotic colleagues corrupted by lobbyists and big-$$$$$ anti-conservative campaign contributors; and frustrated by that Beltway Culture which keeps him permanently on the outside unless he waives those principles he brought to D.C. with him -- "no fancy Georgetown cocktail party invitations for you, Neanderthal!"

Furthermore, with rare exceptions such as Jim Jordan, you do not get to be in the Republican Party leadership or advance towards it unless you are a squish. Stefanik currently holds a minor leadership position as Chair of the House Republican Conference, which may not sound like much but it makes her the 4th-ranking Republican in the House.

Trump and the GOP have lately realized that their appeal to urban and suburban racists and femiNazis is limited if they insist upon a presidential ticket consisting of two White males. There is a significant probability that Trump will select a female as a running mate, or one will be selected for him.

Photo credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Leah Millis/Reuters

Even given her recent rightward trend and her gender, that hardly means Stefanik is the best possible option. [Sacrilegious though it is, we've liked Tulsi Gabbard for a while despite her congressional voting record -- we feel she has "evolved". But we don't completely trust her.]

It should be noted that a truly conservative woman probably need not apply for the position. The Republicans aren't going to make that Sarah Palin "mistake" again, regardless of the fact (which the GOPe refuses to accept) that the only reason John McCain got any conservative votes at all was the presence of Palin on the ticket. That plus the sheer odiousness of the Democrat puppet which opposed him in '08.

There is likely a desire to select a female VP strategically, i.e. one from a liberal state, in the completely futile hope that her presence will flip that liberal state's electoral votes to Trump. If someone along those lines is absolutely necessary, better to make a choice from a critical swing state than one from a totally lost cause like New York or even Hawaii. Are any ladies from Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin available?

Working against this supposedly clever approach is the fact that the GOP has never learned the lesson that tokenism and pandering pay off only for Democrats, not Republicans. For example, when they nominate black candidates for statewide office in anything other than the most Republican states, the strategy almost always fails. If a non-White -- or non-male -- is truly the best possible candidate for a Senate seat in 2024, like James Craig (Michigan) or David Clarke (Wisconsin, but not yet officially in the race) then so be it. Always go with your best regardless of race or sex; anyone except a liberal would agree that's how society should work. However if the minority is not truly the best candidate, then this tactic is truly idiotic.

Of course the voters are the ones who pick the candidates, but the Republican party has a lot to say about who is encouraged to run, who is NOT encouraged to run, and who gets the logistical and financial support if they do run (and, of course, who does NOT get that support). Most of the time the voters merely select from the choices the party offers. Insurgents, normally conservative challengers, are unwelcome and are pushed aside from important statewide elections whenever possible. If one of them happens to win a primary election against the wishes of the establishment, they are hung out to dry in the general. You only need to look back to 2022 for considerable evidence of this.

The theory that "urban" (i.e. racist) voters will leave the Democrat plantation in significant numbers and vote for a black statewide Republican nominee is patently false in the vast majority of cases. If a black Republican gets elected statewide, e.g. Tim Scott in South Carolina, he does so almost exclusively on the votes of Republicans and not Democrats. If an "Uncle Tom" GOP candidate needs Democrat votes to win statewide.... he loses, simple as that.

As far as Trump's VP goes, there has been considerable chatter in the liberal media about Stefanik over the past few days. In an attempt to sow even further dissention and get Trump supporters sniping at each other, they are now even floating trial balloons for the most objectionable possible VP nominee short of Trump picking Big Mike Obama for the job. Or Governor Krispy Kreme.

In the end, some adult in the room needs to select the best person for the job regardless of their melanin content or genitalia. The best person is probably not Elise Stefanik and it's sure as hell not Nimrod Randhawa. Hint: if those who control the media approve of whoever it is, it's definitely a bad choice.


Trump 2024 Veep Elise Stefanik New York Anybody but Nimrod

7/24/2023: Trump's enemies pursue more and more indictments -- to ensure his 2024 nomination [NY Post]

Photo credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall

Rich Lowry, the author of the article, is what passes for a mainstream, establishment "conservative" these days, but he's right on the money with his premise here regarding the 2024 presidential election:

    Both [Democrats and Republicans] are seeking the same thing -- Trump as the Republican nominee, either so he can sweep to victory (Trump's view) or be beaten again and pay the price for his crimes (the Democrats' view). [Emphasis added, to highlight the primary objective.]

It's beyond obvious that the uniparty puppetmasters want Trump to be the presumptive GOP nominee for as long as possible, even if he doesn't quite make it to the November ballot. This includes their rigging of the opinion polls (ya know, the ones which are always claimed to be total BS except when they tell us what we wish to hear): "Pollz say Trump gonna beat Biden, this time fur shurr herp derp!!1!".

The liberal media has willingly and successfully helped Trump neuter any threat from Ron DeSantis, and have helped to enhance Trump's appeal to his base -- and only to that base -- which will sweep him to glorious primary victories but is woefully insufficient by itself to win a general election.

All this pumping of the tires gets the base giddy with excitement and makes the crash even more painful when the puppetmasters pull the rug out as close to the last minute as they can manage, sapping all enthusiasm on the right when Trump turns out not to be the nominee and some uninspiring milquetoast is instead.

There's no way Trump will support anyone else as the GOP nominee, which means he either runs as an Independent (which ensures a Democrat win) or gets a ton of write-in votes from disgruntled supporters (which ensures a Democrat win).

Even if the conspiracy theories don't play out and Trump carries the GOP banner, since he cannot win a national election by getting only the votes of his devout supporters (nobody can), the whole constant accusation, indictment and trial scenario is designed to succeed in peeling off as many undecideds/independents as possible who surely won't vote for a "criminal" for President. Unless that criminal is a Democrat.

To summarize, the idea is that whether Trump is a damaged GOP nominee or whether he runs third-party, the end result will be the same. Or so the uniparty desperately hopes.

There is one way and perhaps only one way to screw up those plans:

And that is for Joe Manchin and/or RFK to pull a "Perot" and mix things up enough that Trump can still win despite getting no more than about 40% of the popular vote in a 3-way race. That's not too far below Trump's upper limit anyway, but with two opponents splitting the anti-Trump vote he may be able to prevail with something along the lines of the outcome in 1992, when Bill Clinton and his lovely wife Bruno won with just 43%.

There might be as many folks on the left seeking a better option than Biden as there are on the right who are seeking a better option than Trump. If a third party can pull off significantly more votes from the left than the right, but not be so popular as to actually steal any GOP electoral votes, then Trump has a chance to win. However if a third party looks to be even remotely threatening, Democrats will stop at nothing to abort it.


Donald Trump 2024 No! Wait! Now we want him OFF the ballot!

7/28/2022: Cruz endorses Kleefisch, putting him at odds with Trump in Wisconsin's GOP gubernatorial primary [Fox News]

Photo credit: AP Photo/John Raoux

Liberal media outlets like Fox News aren't about to bypass a chance to stir up trouble for Republicans, but this endorsement -- Trump's, not Cruz's -- is a valid concern. Is Kleefisch really an inferior candidate to Michels, who is currently shown as doing worse in the general election vs. Evers than Kleefisch is? The ex-Lt. Governor under Scott Walker isn't some squishy "moderate"; she is every bit as conservative -- or more -- as the other candidates who are running and, as the linked article notes, has actually been elected to something before.

So let's see: Kleefisch is not only conservative and "electable" (and well-enough funded, AND opposed by liberal establishment Republicans like the "Club For Growth") but actually more likely to win an important race than the novice whose only political experience up to now has been losing races for state Senate and U.S. Senate. But of course Trump is never wrong with his endorsements (Dr. Oz says "hi") and in this case Trump is needlessly snubbing a good MAGA conservative who has thoroughly supported him for years.


Wisconsin Governor 2022 Rebecca Kleefisch Ted Cruz Got it right Donald Trump Didn't