Monday, July 17, 2017

Seeing Red, Feeling Blue, and Turning Purple

Maps of the 2012 and 2016 Presidential Elections
Republicans were feeling ecstatic when they viewed the increase in red in the map after the 2016 Presidential Election!

When Democrats viewed the map after the 2016 Presidential Election, they were feeling blue; they were hoping it was FAKE NEWS.

Hillary Clinton lost six states that Barack Obama won in 2012:  Michigan, Wisconsin,  Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, and Florida.  She lost Michigan by 10,704 votes, Wisconsin by 27,257 votes, and Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes.  The third-party candidate, Gary Johnson, drew over 100,000 votes in each of those three states.

The popular vote cartograms from the University of Michigan below show how the areas of the country voted in the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections.  The red areas show where Mitt Romney and Donald Trump received more than 70% of the popular vote.  The blue areas show where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton received more than 70% of the popular vote. The purple areas show where neither party received more than 70% of the popular vote.  There isn't much difference between the two cartograms, but it does explain how Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, yet lost the election.

What is not shown in the maps is what effect the Russian hacking and meddling had on the election.

I wonder how many of those 300,000 plus voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania who voted for Gary Johnson were Bernie supporters?  I don't have to wonder if the Wiki Leaks revelation that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders had any effect on the Bernie supporters.  They were pissed!

I wonder how many voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania were influenced by the misinformation about Hillary Clinton that was posted on social media by Russian bots?  I don't have to wonder if the Trump camp colluded with the Russians in the election. It's just a matter of Robert Mueller gathering evidence and proving which Trump people colluded with the Russians.

Is it just a coincidence that almost all of Trump's advisers either had previous ties with Russia or had met officials of the Russian government before or after the election?  The list is long:  Michael Flynn, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Carter Page, Roger Stone,  Michael Cohen, and J. D. Gordon.

I also wonder if Cambridge Analytica, the data mining company Jared Kushner hired to assist in the campaign, pinpointed the Russian bots to influence the opinions of voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania?  It's no secret that Steve Bannon was on the board of Cambridge Analytica, or that the company's stated goal was to change audience behavior.

As for Donald Trump, I believe they'll take him away in a straitjacket before Congress has the chance to impeach him for interfering with the investigation.

As for the Republican base, 80% of which still supports Donald Trump,  I wonder if they'll still support him when they no longer have health insurance, much less operating hospitals in rural America.

As for the Democratic base,  a new leader needs to step forward to energize the voters for the 2018 midterm election.  Bernie Sanders is not the answer; he is not a Democrat.

The 2018 midterm election will be a stepping stone to the 2020 Presidential Election.  In both elections, I believe the Democratic base, together with independent voters, will turn the color of the voting map from red to purple, and from purple to blue.

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