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Bernie Sanders wows crowd in push to win Maine Democratic caucuses

If you were working or otherwise occupied yesterday [March 2, 2016] you missed a great rally in Portland. Click on the link to the Portland Press Herald's article about Bernie's visit to Maine. Attached to that article Susan Kimball did a brief interview with Bernie, in which he explains why he feels good about the results on Super Tuesday! The key is turnout, so if you want to help end the downward spiral of the middle class come out on Sunday and caucus for Bernie.


Maine Democratic Caucus information - March 6, 2016: find your caucus location!

Waterville, Maine Dem Caucus information:

Sunday, March 6 at Thomas College Field House

Directions: Take West River Road (Rte 104) from KMD

Come at 1:00 if you are not registered to vote.

You can register to vote as a DEM (Democrat) at the caucus. If you are registered as IND (Independent), you can change it to DEM at the caucus. (If you are registered as GOP (Republican) and you missed the 2/19 deadline to change, you cannot vote in the DEM caucus). The caucus is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm - SEATING is EXTREMELY LIMITED and we expect a good crowd. Bring bottled water and a snack. And a pillow to sit on!


CNN Primary Results: Another Good Night for Hillary (in the South)

CNN Delegate Estimates After Super Tuesday

Hillary won handily in the southern states and even managed to win in Massachusetts (with 95.31 percent of precincts reporting), but Bernie won the rest. This is a respectable showing for Bernie when the demographics are taken into account, even though we expected to do better in Massachusetts. The delegate count is skewed because of the super delegates, but Hillary is still leading by a substantial margin in the elected delegate count at the moment. That may change as the ground game continues. The Atlantic has a good summary of the night.

48.52% to 50.3%

The Bernie Sanders campaign acknowledges that Super Tuesday favored Hillary and vows to fight on to the convention in June! I am particularly pleased that Bernie wants to honor all fifty states with an opportunity to weigh in on the outcome. I agree with Bernie that this is not just an election, it's an opportunity for the citizens of this country to participate and have a say about our priorities. Here in Maine we'll get to speak up this coming weekend. Let's stop making choices that favor the wealthiest of us at the expense of the vast majority!

John Oliver Analyzes the Donald Trump Phenomenon

South Carolina Primary Results: "Heart Bern!"

26% to 74%

Hillary has won an impressive victory over Bernie. There isn't any way to sugar coat this. The outcome was not unexpected, but clearly Bernie has a lot of ground to cover to reach black voters. At this stage, despite some prominent endorsements from black leaders and personalities, Bernie is far behind Hillary in his support from the black community.

For an excellent way to keep track of the progress of the races for the presidential nominations, check out Politico's national map with caucus and primary results. Super Tuesday is up next and here in Maine we will be knocking on doors and phone banking, getting ready for our own caucus and a chance to shape the race.

On the local news front, probably you have heard by now that Governor LePage has decided to endorse Trump; most of the super delegates on the Democratic side have come out in support of Hillary [Maggie Allen - Democratic National Committee member from Madison, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Peggie Schaffer of Vassalboro - vice chairwoman of the state party]; former State Senator Troy Jackson of Allagash (now member of the Democratic National Committee) is for Bernie and "State Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said he will not be publicly endorsing a candidate before the state's Democratic presidential caucuses on March 6." There is a fair amount of controversy over superdelegates' influence on selection of the Democratic nominee; at this stage Hillary has many more than Bernie.

Hillary Beats Bernie with a Club in Nevada!

Bernie Sanders loses a tie to Hillary with the Ace of Clubs Nevada Caucus Tie Breaking Rules

Nevada has spoken; Hillary wins again (as she did in 2008). According to an article in USA Today, "Nevada was supposed to be Clinton country all along, but the former secretary of State's seemingly insurmountable lead of more than 20 points had shriveled in recent weeks, raising concerns about the possibility of another embarrassment following her 22-point loss in New Hampshire and her razor thin victory in Iowa, which was described as a virtual tie."

47% to 52%

The Washington Post in The Daily 202 had signaled that Hillary might be in trouble, but in the event she was able to hold on.

-- After getting a late start in Nevada, Sanders is massively outspending Clinton in the state because he sees it as a venue to show he can make inroads with minority voters if only they hear his message. Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said internal polling shows young and working-class Latinos coming Bernie's way. Their goal is to disprove "this firewall fantasy that the Clinton campaign has put out there," he told The Post. "If we do well, it destroys that myth." It would certainly change conventional wisdom about the Southern states that vote on Super Tuesday…

My colleagues John Wagner and David Weigel, both on the ground, relay that Sanders really seems to be making inroads with minority voters, especially young Latinos. "Despite Clinton's overwhelming support among union leaders, the Sanders campaign is making a concerted bid among the rank and file," they write. "Twelve Sanders campaign offices have mushroomed across the state." One of his ads features Latina politician Lucy Flores, a former state legislator, explaining why she thinks only Sanders can fix the country. "More than a hundred paid staffers have hit the ground, aided by Latino pro-Sanders groups from as far away as Los Angeles." He's also drawing much bigger crowds at his events than she is.

ABC has a very interesting analysis of the exit polling in Nevada shows why Hillary won the caucus. Their analysis also suggests that: "In the most diverse state to vote so far, Sanders pieced together a coalition that draws on both demography and ideology to show he can and likely will challenge Clinton for months to come." The Oregonian has an interesting take on the caucus (including a video of how to caucus in Nevada, and an excellent Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck cartoon)! CNN Politics also offered some very interesting insights into the caucus results.

New Hampshire Primary Results: "Feel the Bern!"

60% to 38%

With 267 of 300 Precincts Reporting - 89%. Bernie has won an impressive victory over Hillary. On the Republican side, it's Trump 35%, Kasich 16%, Cruz 12%, Bush 11% (and Rubio 10%). Good showing for Kasich, but Trump wins going away.

New Hampshire Primary [2/9/2016]

In spite of all the last minute politicking, Bernie is ahead by about 14 points according to combined opinion polls tracked by the Huffington Post; it is always interesting to see how the polls match up against the reality of the vote itself. So fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Here's a good reminder from NBC of important dates on the political calendar for 2016.

Clinton and Sanders Debate Tonight [2/5/2016]!

The debate, set for the University of New Hampshire in Durham, begins at 9 p.m. ET. It will be moderated by NBC News' Chuck Todd and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Here is what you need to know about how to watch and be a part of the experience:

  • The debate will air live on MSNBC, beginning at 9 p.m. ET
  • You can also watch the live stream of the debate online at NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com. And if looking for real-time reactions and analysis, you'll find it at all decision2016.nbcnews.com.
  • If you're on the go, you can also download our apps on Android and iOS to get all the latest.
  • If you live in New England, you can submit questions through our local partners at New Hampshire Union Leader and NECN.
  • The hashtag on social media will be #DemDebate.

Bonus! This is one of four new debates between Hillary and Bernie.

Dead Heat in Iowa!

"With 99 percent of the votes counted in the Democratic caucuses, Clinton had 49.8 percent to Sanders' 49.6 percent, the Times reported."

"It is rare that we have the opportunity we do now, to have a real contest of ideas, to really think hard about what the Democratic Party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like," Clinton said.

I am in complete agreement with that statement from Clinton. Now is exactly the right time to be thinking about what the future should look like. I prefer the revolution Bernie describes to the tweaking of the status quo favored by Hillary. How about you? If you care, now is the time to get involved!

Iowa Caucus

Summer is Over!

Here is a picture taken by my wife after our first significant snowfall of 2016.

Bernie Sanders for President poster in the snow

As we get closer to Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the weather has become more seasonal and races are tightening. Some of the candidates are starting to show their teeth and elbows. It is not particularly flattering, but is typical of elections from our past. I recently read an excellent book by Lynn Hudson Parsons entitled The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (reviewed in 2009 by The Washington Post) in which he gives a blow-by-blow description of the campaign events and political intrigue that led to the election of Andrew Jackson. You would be hard pressed to find any parallels with today's presidential campaigns (other than the trash talk and outrageous accusations made by both parties about each other). According to the book jacket, the election of 1828

opened a Pandora's box of campaign tactics, including coordinated media, fund-raising, organized rallies, opinion polling, campaign paraphernalia, ethnic voting blocs, "opposition research," and smear tactics.

That would never happen in the 21st century, of course! It's a good read and got me in the right frame of mind to follow the current campaigns.

Leaving aside the Trump/Cruz/Rubio squabbling to focus on the Democrats, I must say I was saddened to see Hillary's campaign accuse Bernie of abandoning the benefits of Obamacare; Bernie does a great job defending his proposal to move to a universal single-payer system that will make healthcare available to every man, woman and child in America for less money than the for-profit system we have under the ACA!

Gail Collins provides her usual amusing explanation for the increasing tensions between the two candidates (even briefly mentioning the distant third candidate once). Up until recently, Hillary looked "inevitable", but the growing surge of support for Bernie clearly has Madam Secretary worried (as pointed out by the National Journal). Sunday's debate should be very interesting (for those of us who are not going to be diverted by the long weekend's other exciting activities).

What's New?

Getting ready for the Maine Caucus, coming up on March 5th [Republicans] and March 6th [Democrats], 2016. This is the best chance you will have to influence who wins the nomination to become President of the United States.

Great new video by Bob OConnor on how to caucus in Maine on March 6th! If you haven't attended a caucus yet, this will give you a sense of how they work.

Details about the Democratic Caucus for Kennebec County are provided by the County Chair, Rita Moran on a separate page.

The Bangor Daily News has an article about the caucus process in Maine; check it out and make plans to participate!
Working on Spring MVC as time allows (sharing my time with the Bernie Sanders for President movement and keeping legacy systems alive). I am finding Spring to be a lot of fun, but also quite a challenge (especially the development environment)! I would like to say that I have much better luck with the material from Richard Chesterwood and John Purcell using Spring 3 than I am having with the newer courses I am taking (STS notwithstanding) using Spring 4. Finally have an actual assignment and colleagues to help work through the issues. Very refreshing to work with younger people with good energy and a willingness to share their skills.

Bootstrapping the Site

Started to upgrade the style of my web site (about 2 years ago, it always takes longer than you think) to use Bootstrap, a great tool from Twitter. I have not made a lot of progress because there are so many other priorities that come first: decided to keep working and defer retirement a while longer.