The political scientist who correctly predicted the 2018 elections says Democrats left seats on the table in the midterms — and can win them in 2020.
Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, was interviewed by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word.”
“Could you explain to the viewers how it is you determine what it was that actually did win a given congressional district?” O’Donnell asked. “When there is this common belief that, oh, well, the Democrats ran because the Republicans threatened their health care and so some swing voters switched over from Republican voting to democratic voting.”
“I’m really glad you asked that. I mean, what I’m arguing is not just a model, it’s a whole fundamental shift in how you understand elections and it’s two-fold,” Bitecofer replied.
“Number one, I’m arguing the way to understand elections in terms of competitiveness now is really based on two things, partisan competition, which is basically a measure of polarization. So a district or a state has to have a certain level of competition that is doable,” she explained.
“But the other thing that I identified is this realignment that’s going on in the electorate and the demographic that’s really a great indicator of that is college education. So for a long time, Republicans had the advantage with college-educated voters, but as you were just citing in that polling data, college education is now it’s an indication of Democratic vote support, not Republican,” she noted. “And, you know, the obvious reasons for what you’ve been watch going on in the Republican Party over this last decade.”
“So when I looked at my model, that’s what I was looking for is, not, you know, just do you have a compelling story like Amy McGrath, but do you have these district conditions that can produce this huge turnout surge that it can flip,” she explained.
“And that’s why, you know, Democrats they did quite well in the midterms, but they left things on the table and I identify, you know, 18 races — especially in Texas — where Democrats just failed to understand, oh, high rates of college education, high rates of diversity in suburban areas around Dallas that they could have picked up in the last cycle and if they target it in 2020, they should be able to pick up in this cycle,” she concluded.
‘There are some women who’d beg to differ’: Watch CNN anchor’s epic response to sexism in politics
On Saturday, CNN anchor S.E. Cupp gave a passionate lecture about the sexism female politicians face during political campaigns.
The host read a quote from a "top" advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I don't know of anybody who has taken as sustained and vitriolic a negative pounding as Biden ...really the most vicious press I think anyone's experienced,” the Biden advisor told Politico.
"Come again? What's that now?" Cupp asked in disbelief.
"I think there are some women who beg to differ," she noted.
‘Obstructionist-in-chief’ McConnell pilloried by conservative scholar with plea for Kentucky voters to dump him
In a column for the conservative Bulwark, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation implored Kentucky voters to dump Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has used the rules of the Senate to crown himself king.
According to Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, McConnell has used his ascension to the majority leader's spot to become the "obstructionist-in-chief."
Pointing at a government that appears frozen in place, Wehle wrote, "Voters are pointing fingers, variously, at House Democrats, Republican senators, federal agencies, the federal judiciary, their state and local counterparts, and of course Donald J. Trump himself," before adding, "Much of the logjam in government falls at the feet of a single man whose power does not stem from the Constitution at all. As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and single-handedly flouted the will of the people and the prerogatives of his governmental counterparts otherwise mandated by the U.S. Constitution."
Why won’t Democrats say they want government to solve problems?
All 10 Democratic candidates in the Houston debate Sept. 13 spoke about investing public money – taxpayer dollars – in education, health care and economic opportunity for Americans. Those ideas depend on an underlying point none of them came out and said directly: Government can help citizens live better lives and achieve their dreams.
Why won’t Democrats come out and say that government is, or at least can be, good?Crisis of distrust
The 2020 presidential campaign is happening in an America facing a historic crisis of public trust in political leaders, branches of government and each other. Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur seeking the Democratic nomination, said it directly on the stage: “We don’t trust our institutions anymore.”