What Are Your Election Forecasts?

What Are Your Election Forecasts?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Not a day passes without some political commentator providing an opinion about the congressional elections in November or the presidential election in 2020. So, if so many others are offering their expert prognostication, why shouldn’t I?

The White House. Image from Wikimedia Commons by AgonsticPreachersKid CC BY-SA 3.0.

Here it goes. Regarding the fall of 2018 and what the House or Senate will look like after the votes are counted, I don’t know. And as to what will happen when President Trump seeks reelection or decides to step down, I don’t know that either.

Most of the pundits were embarrassingly wrong regarding the results in 2016 – both for the White House and for Congress. Currently, they are concluding that large numbers of voters – not only Democrats but also a healthy number of Republicans who don’t like Donald Trump’s performance to date – will elect a Democrat challenger. These are the commentators and professional polls who were certain that Hillary Clinton would drub Donald Trump in 2016. For them, the result was a huge blow that should have kept them quiet for the future.

Here’s what I do know. In the 2000 presidential race, Al Gore was eventually determined to be the loser only when Florida’s 25 electoral votes were awarded to George W. Bush. In that state, 97,488 voted for Ralph Nader. Had Nader not been on the ballot as a candidate of a minor party, most choosing him would surely have opted for Gore. With the result that Gore would have won the White House, not Bush. The possibilities that something like this could happen in 2020 are increasingly real.

In 2020, no matter who the Democrats chose as their candidate to oust Trump, our nation’s growing Progressive movement is likely to field a candidate under some banner other than Democrat. If the chosen Democrat candidate isn’t a Sanders-style Progressive, large numbers of these socialists will either stay home and not vote or turn to some other far-left candidate. Keep in mind that in 2000, there were a total of 16 candidates for president (all were not on the ballot in every state) plus write-ins.

It is quite likely Progressives will field a candidate. If this happens, the Democratic Party will likely suffer the same type defeat – in several states – that Gore suffered in Florida in 2000 because he didn’t get the Nader votes needed to win that state.

For the 2018 congressional races, the 435 House seats are held by 239 Republicans and 191 Democrats (there are a few independents and vacancies). Should the Republicans lose 22 House seats, they would lose their leadership in that body. If they lose two Senate seats, their leadership of that body would also revert to the Democrats.

Establishment favoring pundits expect that Donald Trump’s unpopularity will cause Republican losses in both Houses of Congress. But they overlook the huge unpopularity of California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic Party’s leader in the House can be a significant drag on Democrat candidates from coast to coast. Republicans defending their seat against Democrats Party candidates need only tell voters that a vote for their opponent amounts to a vote to put Pelosi back in the hugely powerful Speaker position.

And Trump’s popularity has been rising – helped along by suggestions that he win the Nobel Peace Prize for getting the leaders of the two Koreas to talk instead of use nuclear weapons.

Any pundit who doesn’t factor in the above considerations will likely be as embarrassed in 2018 and 2020 as most were in 2016.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Voting in Virginia: Your Vote Counts

Voting in Virginia: Your Vote Counts
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When assessing the voting preferences of the people in various states, a knowledgeable political watchdog will find that Virginia is always up for grabs. During its history of reliably choosing Democrats when Virginia’s Southerners were wary of the growing power of the federal government, the Virginians habitually chose Harry Byrd Sr. and then Harry Bryd Jr. for an important seat in the U.S. Senate. The trend in Virginia during the later decades of the 20th Century was full of electing conservatives for federal and state posts.

Image from pixabay by Maialisa, CC0 Creative Commons.

Things began to change over more recent decades when Virginia’s northern counties became home for large numbers of federal employees. These people have customarily voted mainly to keep their jobs, and they don’t vote as Virginians formerly did. Many of the good-paying jobs they fill are with completely unconstitutional departments and agencies (Education, Energy, Transportation, Health, Foreign Aid, etc.). The bureaucrats who fill them aren’t conservatives; they are reliably left leaning liberals and their choices on election days can be expected to be liberal Democrats. These government employees have enormous influence in Virginia’s statewide races such as those for President, Governor, and U.S. Senator.

Nevertheless, distaste for even larger government has kept the state’s legislature from falling into the hands of liberals. But the growing presence of federal employees has led to a shrinking of the conservative-leaning GOP’s once solid 32-seat advantage in the 100-seat House of Delegates. Also, no one can deny the negative effect for GOP candidates of President Donald Trump.

In Virginia’s 2017 election, GOP domination advantage disappeared and the hotly contested race for the seat in the House of Delegates sought by Republican David Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds became the cliffhanger of cliffhangers. What was at stake was control of the lower House of Virginia’s government. If the Democrat prevailed, there would be a 50-50 split in the House, and the newly elected liberal Democrat governor would get to choose House leaders and set the House’s agenda.

The result on election day initially saw Democrat Simonds prevail by a single vote. A recount found another vote for Republican incumbent Yancey – which meant a tie and the winner could not be named. Each candidate had won exactly 11,607 votes. So Virginia did what its law called for. That law stipulated the creation of a non-vote drawing where the names of the two candidates are written on separate pieces of paper, put into a bowl, and the election winner is chosen when an official of the Virginia State Board of Elections selects one slip of paper. On January 4th, David Yancey’s name was on the slip pulled from the bowl. The Republicans had won and their margin in the House would be 51 to 49.

So, unless some other challenge is made, incumbent David Yancey will return as the elected representative of the district where a slip of paper, not a plurality of even one vote, made him the winner. A few more federal employees in the district would have resulted in a Democrat victory, not only for the single seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, but for expanding Medicaid, approving a call for a federal Constitutional Convention, and a lot more.

Whoever says his vote doesn’t count should be made aware of what recently happened in Virginia.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Alabama Senate Race Indicates Possible Skullduggery by GOP Leaders

Alabama Senate Race Indicates Possible Skullduggery by GOP Leaders
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When reviewing the way some elected officials are treated by their colleagues and the mass media, it’s really no surprise to discover that the standards of conduct claimed by Democrats are less stringent than those held by Republicans. The differences show that Republican leaders seem exceedingly harsh when one of their own gets accused of something, while Democrat leaders seem willing to give a Democrat offender only a gentle scolding.

Alabama in the United States. Image from Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Consider: Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken abused Ms. Leeann Tweeden while they were on a USO tour in 2006. There’s even a photo showing his smirking countenance while in the act of groping his sleeping victim. Because of the photo, he couldn’t claim “not guilty” so he apologized and added that he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t ask for his scalp; Pelosi simply wants a formal investigation into what was depicted in the photo and also into some other indiscretions aired by Ms. Tweeden and others.

Then there is Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers. Information has surfaced accusing him of harassing and seeking sexual contact with a female congressional staffer in 2015. In addition, it seems likely that he paid her $27,000 out of federal funds to keep her quiet. And, now that the lid on his conduct had been blown away, two other women have made similar charges. Conyers resigned from Congress but only after thinking resigning his position as minority leader of the House Judiciary Committee would be enough. Besides this, there was no calling for the man’s scalp from Democratic Party leaders. And it looks like according to the Democrats, “retiring” seems to erase what he has done.

Contrast these cases with the ongoing treatment received by Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, a staunch conservative Repubican. The Washington Post and New Yorker magazine have published charges that he abused teenagers 40 years ago when he was in his 30s. Some of Moore’s supposed victims have claimed that he went so far as to ask for sexual favors. He vehemently denies such allegations and wonders how come they are being made decades later when he’s involved in a political campaign. No such accusations ever surfaced in several of his other political races during his long career of serving in numerous elected posts in his home state.

The mere charges leveled against Moore have been accepted as reason enough for leading Republicans including Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, and several others to urge Moore to cancel his run for the Senate. No evidence confirming his supposed wrongdoing has been presented by anyone. Other Republican senators, Arizona Senator John McCain in particular, have been outspoken crusaders urging Moore to cancel his candidacy.

More recently, allegations have risen claiming Moore’s supposed improprieties with teen girls 40 years ago while he was roaming around a mall in Gadsden, Alabama. The claims include a charge that his disreputable conduct led to him being banned  from even entering the complex. The pile-on aimed at Moore has continued while no one has produced any evidence to back up claims of his supposed misbehavior.

What has surfaced are comments from two former mall employees who completely deny the charges aimed at Moore. Johnny Adams was the manager of the mall during the time of the supposed banning and he denies any such ban was ever aimed at Moore. He would have issued any prohibition of that type. Johnnie Sanders worked at the mall’s cafeteria during the same period, was always aware of any such action taken against anyone. He claims that, if such a banning had been issued against Moore, he would have known about it because he knew of some other individual who had deservedly earned such a prohibition.

Alabama voters will decide who will be their senator for the open seat on December 12. If Moore wins the election, some top Senate Republicans have suggested that they will seek to bar him from serving. All of this brings to mind the charge that there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans once they get elected to national office. In this case, the Democrats want their candidate to win the Senate seat. And, while they pose as anxious GOPers who want an ally elected to the Senate, Republican acceptance of completely unverified charges against Moore may well result in a Democratic victory in the upcoming election. All of which makes Roy Moore appear to be feared as a legitimate swamp drainer by top Republicans. Top Democrats agree.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Impeachment Helps the Democrat Cause

Impeachment Helps the Democrat Cause
by JBS President John F. McManus

Hardly a day goes by without someone or some group insisting that President Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Reasons for such a step include the President’s use of executive orders to make law, his refusal to enforce existing law, spying on citizens by the National Security Agency, the debacle in Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and more. These and other Obama deficiencies are real.

But impeachment by the House isn’t likely to be followed by conviction in the Senate. The Republicans in the House can approve impeachment with a simple majority vote. But getting two-thirds of the Senate (67 in number) to convict their president isn’t realistic. The Senate is currently top-heavy with Democrats and expecting them to oust their party leader is expecting something that isn’t realistically possible. And practically everyone who clamors for impeachment knows this.

So why is there so much discussion about impeachment? Two answers follow. The first is that some Republicans feel that calling for such a process impresses voters in their districts. Incumbents seeking reelection or ambitious outsiders hoping to win nomination and election for a House or Senate seat believe that the public is disgusted with Obama to the point where they want him removed. If pressed about the possibility of success, even these impeachment pleaders would have to admit that the goal they seek is unlikely to be achieved. In almost all cases, these GOPers are playacting while getting some media attention which is their real goal.

The second reason why impeachment is being discussed is that Democrats themselves are raising the issue. They want to paint Republicans as deeply partisan ogres who are ganging up on a wounded president. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently pointed out that some Republicans (John Boehner for one) are even planning to sue the president “on a path to impeach” while she and fellow Democrats are busily working to “create jobs.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claims that some Republicans are “hoping to get into office to impeach the president” soon after they win election. But even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggested that impeachment talk might “be a masterful stroke of Democrats running a false flag operation.”

Occasionally, realism surfaces. Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas) has labeled calls for impeachment “foolish.” He believes that Mr. Obama and his advisors want the impeachment process to move forward because it will fail while it generates sympathy for the president. He believes that this “is the only chance the Democrat Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat” in November.

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), the newly named House Majority Whip who recently replaced primary loser Eric Cantor, notes that Democrats are capitalizing on talk of impeachment with fund-raising appeals. He adds that Democrats “will do anything they can to change the topic away from the president’s failed policies.”

Summing up: Impeachment by the House will not lead to conviction and removal of the President by the Senate. And Democrats dearly want calls for impeachment to continue because they help the Democrat cause.