Bernie's exit is all but inevitable after poor showings in Arizona, Illinois, and Florida. Moderate Democrats should be patient and give him some time to come to that decision on his own and not be perceived as pushing him out because they will need to be united come November.
This primary has been far less vitriolic than 2016, so I have a feeling it won't take as long to heal the divisions this time around, but who knows?
If Bernie Sanders drops out then the need to hold any further primaries would effectively be moot, but if his supporter perceive it as him being pushed out then that could potentially hurt the Democrats in November. It's a really touchy subject, to say the least.
I hope state and national leaders are developing contingency plans if this outbreak lasts into November. We need to act now so we're prepared for any number of scenarios this November.
I'm really interested to see how the debate will unfold tonight. Instead of each candidate getting a minute or two (at most) to answer a question, they will (hopefully) be given far more opportunity to articulate their message and contrast it with the other candidate.
Personally, I think the writing is on the wall for Senator Sanders. The map is looking less and less favorable to him and his only real hope is that Biden commits some crazy gaffe that he won't be able to recover from. I don't think that's a very likely scenario and have a feeling that Sanders will be dropping out in the next week or so.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg qualified for the Democratic Presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, marking the first time he will share the debate stage with other Democratic contenders. While Bloomberg didn't meet the fundraising threshold (he is not taking individual donations) he did meet the polling threshold of polling at or above 10% nationally in four separate polls.
While I understand some candidates might be frustrated with the DNC for changing the debate qualification rules midstream and think their frustrations are warranted, I still think the DNC was left with no choice but to find some way to allow a candidate who was refusing to accept private donations from participating in the debates. On one hand it's pretty obvious that Mayor Bloomberg has basically bought his way onto the debate stage, but on the other he is now polling at or near second place in numerous primary polls and prohibiting him from participating in debates would have the appearance that the DNC is actively working to tip the scales against him. I don't envy the DNC, but I think they made the right decision.
When it comes to what Bloomberg's presence on the debate stage means, only time will tell. He is a skilled politician who ran the biggest city in the country for over a decade. However, he has only been a Democrat since 2018 and I have a feeling that will be brought up over and over by the other debate participants throughout the debate.
What I'm also interested in seeing is how he will fare during a live debate compared to the structured commercials he has flooded the airwaves with. Most Americans only know him from his commercials and have never seen him in any other setting, so he has a lot to gain (and lose) from being on the debate stage in Vegas.
It should certainly be an interesting night.
I am surprised that I'm not hearing more about the fact that Buttigieg got just as many delegates as Bernie. It's technically true that Bernie won the night, but when it comes to delegates, Buttigieg did about the best he could have possibly imagined.
Bernie put on a really good face, but I have to imagine he is disappointed with the results from the NH primary. He absolutely dominated in that state in 2016 and got tens of thousands of fewer votes compared to that primary. That has to worry him, even if he won't admit it.
The 2020 Presidential election will determine who is our President for the next four years, but that isn't necessarily the most important thing to happen this year. That's because 2020 is a census year and the fallout from the results of the census will reshape American politics for the next decade, or more likely, much longer.
For those of us who need a quick re-fresher, the census is the decennial count of all people residing in the United States regardless of age, ethnicity, or immigration status. While the Trump Administration did try to add an immigration question to the census for 2020, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 2019 that they were not permitted to at this time. The results of the census will have a profound impact throughout the country - determining everything from the number of Representatives each state will have in the U.S. Congress to the amount of Federal dollars doled out to each state.
The census should be looked at as a marathon and not a sprint. The first part of the "race" (to keep up with the running analogy) is to actually fill out the census. According to the US Census Bureau, "Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire." That is your only Constitutional duty, but you should certainly not take it as the only thing you need to do.
In order to truly make your voice be heard, you will then need to take the next step in the process and vote in the 2020 election (if you are legally able to do so) because that is when the vast majority of states will be selecting their state representatives and senators who will be redrawing congressional districts in each state. While a handful of states have redistricting commissions that redraw the districts, the majority of them have their districts redrawn by the very politicians they just voted in to office. That means that you vote may mean the difference between having a politician you like (or don't like) determining what your next decade might be like.
As if all that weren't enough, add in the fact that modern day computer algorithms can design congressional districts with pinpoint accuracy and 2020 may very well be the year that determines the trajectory not just for your state, but the entire country, for the next decade or more.
So no matter what your political beliefs, no matter if you are a citizen, child, teenager, legal permanent resident, DREAMER, or an undocumented immigrant, be sure to fill out the Census in 2020.
The all but inevitable impeachment of President Trump (which is very different than his conviction in the Senate) has gotten me thinking about how it will affect his chances in 2020. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, Donald Trump is impeached by the House and not convicted in the Senate. What happens next is what I'm starting to think about. So, if possible, I hope we can focus on that and not whether or not President Trump should be impeached and removed from office.
My personal opinion is impeachment will be a small, but not insignificant, net loss for the President. His base of supporters aren't going anywhere, but in order to win in 2020 he must keep the same coalition he built in 2016 and find ways to build on it. His popular vote margin was the third smallest in our nations history and his Electoral College margin ranked at 46th out of the 58th Presidential elections we've had. Since then, the three states that helped elect him - Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - have all turned blue. That should keep Trump up more at night than any impeachment hearing.
On the other hand, I can also see Trump's acquittal in the Senate (if that is what indeed happens) galvanizing his base and dejecting the left to the point of despair. Add in the very real possibility of a contentious Democratic Primary splitting the party in the same way it did in 2016 and all of a sudden Trump being impeached *could be* the best thing that happened to him.
So, I can honestly see it both ways. I can see impeachment galvanizing the left *and* the right. And that means that, no matter what happens in the impeachment of Donald Trump, the voters will be the final arbiters of his fate.
What do you think? Will impeachment help or hurt Trump moving forward?
I would like to say that I'd be shocked if Texas turned blue in 2020, but crazier things have happened before. Texas used to be blue for a long time (although the Democratic Party was far more conservative back then) and even went for Jimmy Carter in 1976. They haven't gone blue since then, but if our short history shows us anything, it's that voting habits ebb and flow.
I personally think it's the best way to allocate delegates because it gives smaller states at least somewhat of a say in the whole process. If they had winner take all then the candidates with the most money and name recognition would just set up shop in California, New York, and Texas and write off the rest of the country. This way it forces candidates to take every state seriously.
If you are at least 62 years old and your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits then you may be eligible to receive spouse’s retirement benefits even if you've never worked for a job that collects Social Security taxes. How much you receive will be dependent on a variety of factors, but the first thing to do would be to check if you are eligible to receive spousal benefits.
In order to do that, you'll need to fill out the Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application online. There is a section in the application for spouses and if you (or your spouse) qualifies then your application will automatically serve as a request for spousal benefits. If you would rather apply for spousal benefits over the phone then you can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 or at TTY 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing. If neither of those options suit you then you can schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office.
If you qualify, the amount you receive each month will depend on a variety of factors. For starters, your benefits as a spouse will not include any delayed retirement benefits your spouse receives if they put off drawing from their benefits until they were older.
Another factor that will determine how much you receive each month is whether you begin drawing your benefits between age 62 and your full retirement age or if you wait until your spouse reaches their full retirement age to begin collecting. Note that your benefit will also be reduced or eliminated in its entirety if you as a spouse are receiving a pension for work not covered by Social Security.
The first step is to begin the application process. Then consider sharing with us how the application process went for you or your spouse.