Dems Embrace Conspiracy GA-6 Was Rigged by Russians, Ignoring DNC Actual Rigging

Democrats poured something like $50 million dollars last spring into Georgia’s 6th CD special election to replace–ahem–Tom Price. The young guy who nobody now remembers, Jon Ossoff, lost to veteran Karen Handel, who was quickly sworn in.

Back then, there were conspiracy speculations by various unreliable and nefarious left-wing publications, notably the Washington Post, that the only reason Handel won was because the Russians hacked the election (and the November 2016 election too).

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when it was revealed that a compromised server containing Georgia election records was wiped by IT staff. This prompted Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to quit his defense of Secretary of State Brian Kemp (who is running for governor)’s office in a lawsuit involving the server.

The lawsuit by accountability group Coalition for Good Governance and the Constitution Party of Georgia alleges that the state’s electronic voting machines are hopelessly vulnerable to hacking. As part of that suit, a server run Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems was cited as having “a gaping security hole” that wasn’t fixed for six months after it was reported.

Now that server is, umm, blank, like Hillary Clinton’s. Except the FBI seems to have an “image” of the server. And Kemp claims that KSU’s IT staff doesn’t work for him, and were following their own procedures dealing with vulnerabilities. I guess nobody told them the server was needed for a lawsuit.

Anyhow…

Rep. Hank Johnson has told local Atlanta TV station 11Alive that Ossoff’s loss must have been Russian hackers throwing the race to Republicans.

“A difference of about 3200 votes,” recalled US Rep. Hank Johnson. The Democrat had employed Ossoff as a congressional aide. Ossoff stayed consistently ahead in most polls leading up to the runoff – then lost on election night.

“I think it’s quite possible that Jon Ossoff won that election and the election was stolen from him. That’s my suspicion,” Johnson said Monday.

Russians messed with fake news and both presidential campaigns, Ossoff lost in a district that has a massive GOP tilt and an election data server was wiped: Ipso facto, the election was rigged. And Pizzagate is real. And they’re turning the frogs gay.

But in fact, for real rigging they need look no further than the DNC, which rigged Hillary Clinton’s nomination tighter than a racing yacht in a regatta.

Jon Ossoff lost because he wasn’t a good enough candidate to beat Handel. He couldn’t overcome “dude, you don’t live in the district.” Handel has lived there 25 years, won an election as Georgia Secretary of State (ironically, the position held by Kemp), lost a race for governor, and a race for U.S. Senator. Ossoff’s greatly padded resume only beat George Papadopoulos’s by a hair (Ossoff was an actual Congressional intern versus a model UN participant).

Hillary Clinton bought and paid for the DNC, and by extension she bought and paid for the nomination. She and the DNC bought and paid for the Trump “dossier.” There’s more evidence to speculate that Hillary bought and paid for Loretta Lynch to rig her non-indictment than there is that GA-6 was thrown by the Russians.

Hell, there’s more evidence that Maggie Hassan stole the NH Senate seat from Kelly Ayotte than there is of Russians handing Handel the Georgia race.

But truthers are gonna truth, and Democrats are going to scream “Russia.” That is, until they are in the White House to do their own Kremlin deals.

Thanks To 716, Democrats Have 41 Votes To Filibuster Gorsuch

Democrats have mustered 41 votes, the number required to block cloture and keep a filibuster going against Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation. We have the number 716, and President Trump, to thank for this.

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backs down on his threats to use the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules and remove the filibuster from Supreme Court justice confirmation votes, we know who to blame. Besides McConnell that is.

The closest senate race in 2016 was between incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. The race came down to 716 votes out of 737,772 cast, with $100 million spent between the two candidates. Ayotte lost her seat by half the number of votes than Hillary Clinton carried the state; it amounted to 0.09 percent.

Ayotte went on to take a seat on News Corp’s board of directors today. Hassan took over the senate seat.

Were it not for then-candidate Donald Trump’s trolling of Ayotte, she very well could have kept her seat. “We need loyal people in this country. We need fighters in this country. We don’t need weak people,” Trump told the Washington Post in August. “We have enough of them. We need fighters in this country. But Kelly Ayotte has given me zero support, and I’m doing great in New Hampshire.”

Trump lost in N.H., and so did Ayotte. Hassan has pledged to stand with her Democratic Party and uphold a filibuster. Were that seat not flipped, Democrats would have 40 votes, not enough to stop cloture, and there would be no need for McConnell to go nuclear.

The next time a Democrat is in the White House (don’t think that won’t happen), and a far-left activist judge is nominated to the Supreme Court to legislate new “rights” from Constitutional “penumbras” and “emanations” made from whole cloth, and we have no filibuster, we know who to blame.

If McConnell fails to go nuclear, and the best qualified originalist judge since the late Antonin Scalia is not confirmed, we know who to blame.

I can’t blame Kelly Ayotte. She ran an exemplary campaign. Her only mistake was voicing support for Donald Trump, thinking that possibly he would return the favor. Although he eventually endorsed her, it was a weak and limp gesture.

Trump cost Ayotte the race, and now the GOP–and the country, possibly–has to pay for those 716 votes.

Ayotte Loses By The Most Expensive 716 Votes Ever

These might be the most expensive votes ever bought. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, with 100 percent reporting, leads incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte for her U.S. Senate seat by just 716 votes out of a total of 737,772 votes cast.

That’s 0.09 percent in a race that has spent a gobsmacking $100 million in campaign funds. It works out to $139,664 per vote for the margin between Hassan and Ayotte.

It came down to the wire. In a state where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by a mere 1,437 votes, the Democrats were able to just squeak Hassan over the wire.

[** UPDATE **] Ayotte has conceded the race, so the 716 votes are enough. There will be no recount.

According to Politico, candidates in New Hampshire can request a recount as long as the difference between winner and loser is less than 20 percent of the total votes in the towns where the election is contested. Without going through the whole list of N.H.’s 300 voting precincts (for such a tiny state, elections are operated a the most local level possible), it’s evident that Ayotte can request a fair number of recounts, possibly 100 or more.

She’ll probably focus on certain communities with a high number of absentee ballots, or results that don’t match the presidential or registered voter rolls of who showed up. For example, in Stratham, Ayotte lost by 60 votes, while Trump lost by 588 votes. It’s unlikely she’d pick up any there. But in Swanzey, Ayotte lost by 160 votes, while Trump won by 21 votes. Enough of those reverse split ticket discrepancies may find some votes.

It might be a given to recount in some of the larger cities like Manchester or Nashua, where Hassan won by hundreds (or thousands) of votes. We likely won’t know the results of any recount for days.

But at this point, it appears Ayotte, in the slimmest of margins, lost the most expensive political race in New Hampshire (and one of the most expensive Senate races, period) history.

You Idiots, These Voters Are The Conservatives You’re Looking For

Despite himself, Donald Trump may do better than it appeared four days ago, but if New Hampshire voters can teach the country any lesson, it’s that the conservative message is not lost, or even assimilated into Trumpism.

As a New Hampshirite myself, I understand the baked-in individualism and screw-you-populism of the state psyche. Back in the 1980’s when the state tried to both increase the toll amounts and simultaneously devalue the prepaid tokens commutes bought, toll revenues went down. I was one of those many drivers who used backroads on my 50-mile each way commute two days a week to send the idiots in Concord a message. They got it, and restored the higher values of commuter tokens. This was over $0.25 a day. Imagine what the GOP can learn about more important issues.

George Will wrote about how Sen. Kelly Ayotte may be poised to keep her seat because of ticket-splitters in N.H. One fact that he cited was worth noting:

Last week, UMass Amherst/WBZ released a poll of likely voters, including those “leaning toward” a candidate, showed Ayotte with a 4-point lead. Which must reflect the fact that, in a survey of eight swing states, New Hampshire had the largest portion of voters (9.7 percent) intending to vote both for Clinton and for a Republican Senate candidate.

My brother, who still lives in the state, remarked to me several times how he sees lots of Ayotte yard signs, and a good number of Trump yard signs, but rarely if ever in the same yard. The latest four polls since 10/17 all show Ayotte up (Monmouth shows a tie). This indicates the brief dent Ayotte suffered and the boost Democrat challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan received was short-lived and due to very specific remarks about Trump being a “good role model.”

Here’s the lesson: Trump is a terrible candidate. But the party is not one man–or woman. Trump exists because voters are fed up with politics as usual, with politicians promising fiscal sanity but delivering more entitlements, debt, and “free stuff” for people who already live their lives on the government’s daily feast of benefits.

Trump being a terrible candidate should not stop conservatives–even those light on social issues like Ayotte–from sticking to their core message. Being on or off the Trump Train or #MAGA! message should not define who a conservative is or isn’t. New Hampshire voters get that because of a long history of separating conservative fiscal, economic and patriotic values from the more personal issues of faith. Liberty is the liberty to believe what you want and keep the government out of it.

The state with the largest political deliberative body (and every little town having a board of selectmen) demonstrates that small government is still the lynchpin and keystone of conservatism. Where government permanently intrudes, liberty cannot thrive. Government can help restore liberty by addressing inequities, but it never does that–it always takes up residence and kills the thing it claims to defend.

The fact that N.H. voters reject Trump but rally to Ayotte is good news, and a good lesson for the GOP. Maybe if, after Nov. 8, we were to receive that lesson, the party might just survive.

All The Canaries Are Dead

New Hampshire is, historically and demographically, the GOP’s canary in the coal mine. And all the canaries are dead.

Let me explain…or rather, let Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight explain:

[New Hampshire] is more “elastic” than other swing states. By elastic — the way I’m using the the term is borrowed from economics — I mean that it tends to swing more with the national trends. Specifically, New Hampshire has an elasticity score of 1.19, which means that for every point that the national polls move, we’d expect New Hampshire to move by 1.19 points in the same direction. Thus, if there’s a 5-point shift back toward Trump nationally, we’d expect New Hampshire to swing by slightly more than that, by around 6 points instead.

In college (at the University of New Hampshire, where I minored in economics), I learned that price inelasticity is a consumer’s tendency to stick with a brand regardless of price. Like Tide detergent or Coca-Cola. So when you see Coke price itself to a point where buyers are starting to bail, that’s bad news, industry-wide (or good news for Pepsi).

Clinton has between a 9 and 14 point lead in New Hampshire. Given that the polls are not rigged (and the election is not rigged*), and that Sen. Kelly Ayotte has spent the last year distancing herself from Trump, you’d expect the popular Republican to hold her own against Democrat challenger and sitting Governor Maggie Hassan.

And Ayotte was doing well, until recently. Then Trump offered a weak endorsement. After that, the media felt free to plumb the depths of just how nice Ayotte could be to Trump (who doesn’t return that favor). On October 3, in a debate with Hassan, Ayotte was asked of Trump if she would “point to him as a role model” for a child.

Her unfortunate answer: “Absolutely, I would do that.” It’s almost as if moderator Chris Ryan knew Trump was about to be tied to his [unmentionable]-grabbing remarks with Billy Bush. But of course, how would he know in advance?

Hassan is now running this ad all over N.H. television, and the polls reflect the damage.

Hassan is now up between 1 and 7 points in the last two polls. FiveThirtyEight gives Hassan a 65.8 percent chance of winning what should have been a safe senate seat from a popular Republican.

As New Hampshire goes, so goes the nation. If the highly elastic presidential polling has moved the down ballot race in the Granite State, imagine what it’s doing in other key senate races that are more positively correlated to the top of the ticket.

The highest probability event based on FiveThirtyEight’s model is that Democrats take control 51 to 49.

538-senate-10-21

The White House is pretty well lost. And now the Senate is sinking under the weight of Trump’s anchor. Thanks, Republicans. Well played.


*New Hampshire doesn’t run elections like other states. Instead of voting by county, each city or town (no matter how small) has their own election officials. This makes it, to say the least, interesting when obtaining results. I know because I helped cover the state for the primary in February working with Decision Desk HQ. It also makes N.H. especially resistant to election rigging since there are so many voting precincts. Believe me, it’s not rigged, and the polls are accurate. Trump is simply that bad.

 

Good News In New Hampshire

Sen. Kelly Ayotte cruised to victory with an easy primary win over challenger Jim Rubens, garnering nearly 80 percent of GOP voters. She has also benefitted from Lindsey Graham’s Security is Strength super PAC pouring some needed advertising into the Granite State.

But the best news is that Ayotte is now leading Democrat and sitting Gov. Maggie Hassan. The last two polls have her at +2 and +8. As recently as two weeks ago, Ayotte trailed Hassan by up to 10 points. Most of this was because Democrats made a hard play to tie Ayotte to Donald Trump, who all but disavowed her candidacy before offering a weak endorsement.

In other N.H. races, Republican Jim Lawrence won his primary and will take on incumbent Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster in the 2CD. Kuster’s unfavorables should make this a close race, so the GOP could pick up the seat. In the 1CD, Republican Rep. Frank Guinta may lose his seat in a primary battle against challenger Rich Ashooh–the race is too close to call as of this morning.

And Chris Sununu (there’s always at least one Sununu in politics) is leading by a hair over Frank Edelblut for the GOP slot for governor. With Hassan vacating, the Dems are putting up a relative unknown in Colin Van Ostern. Sununu enjoys high name recognition and the highest favorability ratings of all gubernatorial candidates.

New Hampshire is a really good bellwether for the nation in many ways, especially in down ballot races. There’s a decent chance the GOP can own both Congressional seats, retain the one Senate seat (the other is Democrat Sen. Janne Shaheen), and pick up the state house. That’s a win, even if Clinton is still up by 5 points over Trump.

New Hampshire Is The GOP’s Bellwether

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte has her work cut out for her. She’s trailing Democrat challenger Maggie Hassan by 1 to 10 points, depending on the poll. This is a race to watch as a bellwether for the GOP.

Donald Trump carried New Hampshire in the GOP primary by a large margin. I was there in early February in the cold and snow. A blizzard hit the night before the election. While the roads were mostly clear on election day, it was bitter cold and icy. Long lines marked some of the precincts, with people lining up for hours to vote for Trump.

I helped Decision Desk with their exit polling, covering the Seabrook precinct. A former ‘Brooker, I saw quite a few people I knew (“where have you been the last twenty years?”–“Georgia”). Several Democrats were upset that they couldn’t change their registration on the spot to vote for Trump. The man had a magnetic pull.

New Hampshire has become largely a liberal, Democrat state. It has always been a populist, iconoclastic, frugal, New England yankee hive of curmudgeons at heart. With the largest state legislature, 434 people representing 1.3 million, getting agreement on anything in the Granite State is an exercise in futility. In that environment, Ayotte has been a popular figure.

In 2010, she won moderate Republican Judd Gregg’s seat, crushing Democrat Paul Hodes 60 percent to 36. Ayotte’s biggest challenge was fending off Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne in the primary, which she won by just 1,659 votes (1.2 percent).

Now trapped between Trump’s populism and Clinton’s liberal social agenda, Ayotte has no maneuvering room. And this is the tale of the GOP downballot.

Trump has flipped the race on the GOP–going after working-class rust-belt states and leaving normally red states to fend for themselves. The negative campaign is based on fear of Clinton, and Trump is counting on Republicans to veer at the last moment. He wants to win the battlegrounds where he’s currently deeply trailing.

battlegrounds

The GOP would do well to abandon Trump and focus on the downballot at this point. Trump is either going to win or lose by his own hand–the party is no help to him and he is certainly no help to the party right now.

Watch New Hampshire. If the GOP stays with Trump, and if Ayotte loses–a real possibility at this point–and Trump is crushed in November, we may be looking at the total collapse of the Republican Party at the national level. State governorships and legislatures will not be far behind.

The Party of Lincoln is looking into its own grave.

The One Excuse Trump Can’t Claim

Friday, on a stage in Green Bay, Donald Trump publicly endorsed Paul Ryan. He also endorsed Kelly Ayotte and John McCain. For those of us who see politics as politics, we can only say “it’s about time.” For many of the Branch Trumpidians, Trump may well have committed treason.

Just a day before, Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post’s political blogger, gave four steps for Trump to change his strategy–the long-awaited “pivot” to a win.

  1. Endorse Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Cast himself as the uniter of the Republican party — and show it’s more than talk.
  2. Stop doing so many media interviews. Trump is constantly sitting for some interview or other, and, often, contradicting himself and the party in the process. Less is more.
  3. Find a message and stick to it. That message should be: a) Supreme Court b) change vs more of the same and c) Hillary can’t be trusted. But, almost any message might work — as long as Trump actually stuck to it.
  4. Stop picking dumb fights. The back and forth with the Khans was both unwinnable and incredibly un-strategic. If you are in the polling position Trump is, you can’t afford to give away a week fighting a fight you have no chance of winning.

To the relief of the party establishment, Trump did step 1, and boy did it bother his core.

https://twitter.com/_HankRearden/status/761790317615984640

https://twitter.com/_HankRearden/status/761791179834822656

And so in doing what the establishment wanted, Trump has lost his cover story of not doing what the establishment wants.

He can’t claim “I did it because the party needed me to.” That’s nonsense to Trumpkins, who actually believe the “only I can fix.” He can’t say he bowed to pressure, because The Donald doesn’t bow to pressure. But in fact that’s exactly what he did.

This isn’t like Trump signing the GOP loyalty pledge, when he got Reince Priebus to stand in the lobby of Trump Tower and publicly submit fealty to the Orange Throne. This was done in Wisconsin, Ryan’s home territory–a snub to Ryan’s doomed primary opponent, Paul Nehlen, who inexplicably defended Trump for slaughtering him.

I say “inexplicably” but really it isn’t. The Kool Aid does tend to render its victims suggestible, even to suicidal acts.

This is how many of Trump’s supporters will come to terms with Cheeto Jesus’ “mini-pivot.” They’ll say he did it for “party unity” (funny that only applies to everyone but Ted Cruz), and it wasn’t bowing to the establishment, although that’s exactly what it was.

In Trump’s cult of personality, the Master bows to nobody. That means Trump can make whatever excuse he wants for his reversal on Ryan (and McCain and Ayotte), but he can’t claim they made him do it. (But they did.)